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Coprosma petriei is an evergreen shrub that can grow up to 0.10 metres tall.
It is harvested from the wild for local use as a food and source of materials.
Lowland to higher montane grassland, stream margins, rocky places and dry river beds on North and South Islands[
Requires a moist, very well-drained neutral to slightly acid soil in full sun or light shade[
]. Succeeds in most soils, so long as they are well-drained[
]. This plant has survived very dry conditions with us and appears to be very drought tolerant[
One of the hardiest members of this genus, it succeeds outdoors in the rock garden in many parts of the country[
Hybridizes freely with other members of this genus[
], though it does not seem to cross with C. pumila, C. atropurpurea or any red-fruited species[
]. There are several named forms selected for their ornamental value[
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, but without much flavour[
]. The fruits vary in colour from white to blue or sea-green[
]. The fruit is seldom borne in Britain[
]. The fruit is about 12mm wide[
The roasted seed is an excellent coffee substitute[
A yellow dye is obtained from the wood, it does not require a mordant[
A dense carpeting plant, it can be planted about 25cm apart to form a ground cover[
]. The cultivar 'Violet Drops' is much more vigorous than the type, forming compact mats up to 2 metres across and making a very good ground cover[
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.