The Temperate Database is in the process of being updated, with new records being added and old ones being checked and brought up to date where necessary. This record has not yet been checked and updated.
Common Name: Sand Coprosma
Coprosma acerosa is an evergreen shrub that can grow up to 0.50 metres tall.
It is harvested from the wild for local use as a food and source of materials.
Coastal sand dunes[
] and elevations up to 1200 metres[
], on North, South and Chatham Islands[
Requires a moist, very well-drained neutral to slightly acid soil in full sun or light shade[
]. An easily grown plant, it succeeds in most soils, so long as they are well-drained[
]. Judging by its habitat this plant should be tolerant of maritime exposure[
Somewhat intolerant of frost[
], this species is hardy at Kew but it prefers milder winters[
]. It does not succeed in the colder areas of the country[
]. Fruits are freely produced in Ireland[
]. Does well on a sunny ledge in the rock garden[
A widely spreading mat-forming prostrate plant, though it will eventually build up to a height of 60cm[
Hybridizes freely with other members of this genus[
], especially C. petriei[
Plants are normally dioecious, though in some species the plants produce a few flowers of the opposite sex before the main flowering and a few hermaphrodite flowers are sometimes produced[
]. Male and female plants must usually be grown if seed is required.
Fruit - raw[
]. Sweet and juicy[
], but with little flavour[
]. The fruit is usually pale blue and up to 8mm long x 6mm wide[
The roasted seed is an excellent coffee substitute[
A yellow dye is obtained from the wood, it does not require a mordant[
Seed - probably best sown as soon as it is ripe in a greenhouse or cold frame[
]. Sow stored seed in spring in a cold frame[
]. Germination can be slow, often taking more than 12 months even when fresh seed is used[
]. When the seedlings are large enough to handle, prick them out into individual pots. Grow on the plants for at least their first winter in a greenhouse and plant out in late spring or early summer. Give the plants some protection from the cold for their first winter outdoors[
Cuttings of mature wood of the current year's growth, autumn in a frame.