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Coprosma rhamnoides 11.JPG
Coprosma rhamnoides
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Asterids
Order: Gentianales
Family: Rubiaceae
Subfamily: Rubioideae
Tribe: Anthospermeae
Genus: Coprosma
J.R.Forst. & G.Forst.

Coprosma is a genus of flowering plants in the Rubiaceae family. It is found in New Zealand, Hawaiian Islands, Borneo, Java, New Guinea, islands of the Pacific Ocean to Australia and the Juan Fernández Islands.[1]


The name Coprosma means "smelling like dung" and refers to the smell (methanethiol) given out by the crushed leaves of a few species.

Many species are small shrubs with tiny evergreen leaves, but a few are small trees and have much larger leaves. The flowers have insignificant petals and are wind-pollinated, with long anthers and stigmas. Natural hybrids are common. The fruit is a non-poisonous juicy berry, most often bright orange (but can be dark red or even light blue), containing two small seeds. The orange fruit of the larger species were eaten by Māori children, and are also popular with birds. It is said that coffee can be made from the seeds, Coprosma being related to the coffee plants. A notable feature (also found in other genera of Rubiaceae) is that the leaves contain hollows in the axils of the veins; in these, and on the leaf stipules, nitrogen-fixing bacteria grow. In addition the hollows, or domatia, encourage certain kinds of mites to take up residence, which feed on and reduce parasitic fungi which attack the leaf.[2]



  1. ^ "Coprosma in the World Checklist of Rubiaceae". Retrieved June 2014. 
  2. ^ Monks A, O'Connell DM, Lee WG, Bannister JM, Dickinson JM (2007). "Benefits associated with the domatia mediated tritrophic mutualism in the shrub Coprosma lucida". Oikos 116 (5): 873–881. doi:10.1111/j.0030-1299.2007.15654.x. 

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coprosma — Please support Wikipedia.
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2 news items

New Zealand Herald
Sat, 25 Oct 2014 16:15:00 -0700

A fun gardening memory for me as a teenager was being allowed to choose some plants for part of our garden that was very exposed, facing the Manukau Harbour. The colour of the Coprosma repens cultivars I chose was in vogue during the 1980s with ...

New York Times

New York Times
Thu, 09 Oct 2014 02:00:13 -0700

An invasive ice plant growing on and killing a native Coprosma shrub on the coast of New Zealand. Credit Jason Fridley. Continue reading the main story. Continue reading the main story. Carl Zimmer. MATTER. Continue reading the main story Share This ...

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