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Common Name: Native Currant
Coprosma billardieri is an evergreen shrub that can grow up to 3.00 metres tall.
It is harvested from the wild for local use as a food and source of materials.
Australia - New South Wales, Tasmania, Victoria.
Shady mountain gullies in moister forests to the montane zone[
Requires a moist, very well-drained neutral to slightly acid soil in full sun or light shade[
]. Succeeds in most soils[
Somewhat intolerant of frost, this species is only likely to succeed outdoors in the mildest areas of Britain[
]. Plants are hardy to at least -7°c in Australian gardens[
] though this does not translate directly to British gardens due to our cooler summers and longer, colder and wetter winters.
Hybridizes freely with other members of this genus[
Plants are tolerant of heavy clipping or pruning[
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 or cooked. Sweet and juicy[
], but with little flavour[
]. The red fruit is about 7mm in diameter[
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.