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Useful Temperate Plants

Coprosma robusta

Raoul.

Rubiaceae


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.

+ Synonyms

Common Name: Karamu

No Image.

General Information

Coprosma robusta is a Evergreen Shrub up to 5.00 metres tall.
It has edible, medicinal and miscellaneous uses.

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References

44
Title
Flora of New Zealand.
Publication
 
Author
Allan. H. H.
Website
http://floraseries.landcareresearch.co.nz/pages/Book.aspx?fileName=Flora%201.xml
Publisher
Government Printer, Wellington.
Year
1961
ISBN
-
Description
The standard work, in 5 volumes though only the first two are of interest to the plant project. Very good on habitats. There is also an on-line version.
,
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.

Range

New Zealand - North, South and Chatham Islands, south to latitude 45°south.

Habitat

Lowland forest and shrubland, especially on alluvial soils[
44
Title
Flora of New Zealand.
Publication
 
Author
Allan. H. H.
Website
http://floraseries.landcareresearch.co.nz/pages/Book.aspx?fileName=Flora%201.xml
Publisher
Government Printer, Wellington.
Year
1961
ISBN
-
Description
The standard work, in 5 volumes though only the first two are of interest to the plant project. Very good on habitats. There is also an on-line version.
,
225
Title
The New Plantsman. Volume 2, 1995.
Publication
 
Author
Knees. S.
Publisher
Royal Horticultural Society
Year
1995
ISBN
1352-4186
Description
A quarterly magazine, it has articles on Coprosma species,
]. Found from sea level to 1200 metres, it is often found where the soil is poor or swampy or where conditions are windy or cold[
290
Title
Trees for Survival
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.tfsnz.org.nz/resources.cfm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent site, giving fairly comprehensive information on a small number of native New Zealand trees.
].

Properties

Edibility Rating *
Medicinal Rating *
HabitEvergreen Shrub
Height5.00 m
PollinatorsWind
Self-fertileNo
Cultivation StatusWild

Cultivation Details

Requires a moist, very well-drained neutral to slightly acid soil in full sun or light shade[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
]. Succeeds in most soils[
225
Title
The New Plantsman. Volume 2, 1995.
Publication
 
Author
Knees. S.
Publisher
Royal Horticultural Society
Year
1995
ISBN
1352-4186
Description
A quarterly magazine, it has articles on Coprosma species,
]. In its native New Zealand, this is a tough plant that will grow in difficult conditions, being wind hardy and frost tolerant when mature[
290
Title
Trees for Survival
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.tfsnz.org.nz/resources.cfm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent site, giving fairly comprehensive information on a small number of native New Zealand trees.
]. It tolerates full sun and shade equally well[
290
Title
Trees for Survival
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.tfsnz.org.nz/resources.cfm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent site, giving fairly comprehensive information on a small number of native New Zealand trees.
].
Somewhat intolerant of frost, this species is only likely to succeed outdoors in the mildest areas of Britain[
1
Title
RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956
Publication
 
Author
F. Chittendon.
Publisher
Oxford University Press
Year
1951
ISBN
-
Description
Comprehensive listing of species and how to grow them. Somewhat outdated, it has been replaced in 1992 by a new dictionary (see [200]).
,
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
]. Plants are fairly hardy in Essex according to another report, which says that they are worthy shrubs for a woodland garden[
225
Title
The New Plantsman. Volume 2, 1995.
Publication
 
Author
Knees. S.
Publisher
Royal Horticultural Society
Year
1995
ISBN
1352-4186
Description
A quarterly magazine, it has articles on Coprosma species,
].
There are some named forms, selected for their ornamental value[
225
Title
The New Plantsman. Volume 2, 1995.
Publication
 
Author
Knees. S.
Publisher
Royal Horticultural Society
Year
1995
ISBN
1352-4186
Description
A quarterly magazine, it has articles on Coprosma species,
].
Hybridizes freely with other members of this genus[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
,
225
Title
The New Plantsman. Volume 2, 1995.
Publication
 
Author
Knees. S.
Publisher
Royal Horticultural Society
Year
1995
ISBN
1352-4186
Description
A quarterly magazine, it has articles on Coprosma species,
].
Plants are tolerant of heavy clipping or pruning[
225
Title
The New Plantsman. Volume 2, 1995.
Publication
 
Author
Knees. S.
Publisher
Royal Horticultural Society
Year
1995
ISBN
1352-4186
Description
A quarterly magazine, it has articles on Coprosma species,
].
Plants are normally dioecious, though occasionally the plants produce a few flowers of the opposite sex before the main flowering and a few hermaphrodite flowers are sometimes produced[
44
Title
Flora of New Zealand.
Publication
 
Author
Allan. H. H.
Website
http://floraseries.landcareresearch.co.nz/pages/Book.aspx?fileName=Flora%201.xml
Publisher
Government Printer, Wellington.
Year
1961
ISBN
-
Description
The standard work, in 5 volumes though only the first two are of interest to the plant project. Very good on habitats. There is also an on-line version.
,
225
Title
The New Plantsman. Volume 2, 1995.
Publication
 
Author
Knees. S.
Publisher
Royal Horticultural Society
Year
1995
ISBN
1352-4186
Description
A quarterly magazine, it has articles on Coprosma species,
]. Male and female plants must usually be grown if seed is required.

Edible Uses

Fruit - raw or cooked[
173
Title
Native Edible Plants of New Zealand.
Publication
 
Author
Crowe. A.
Publisher
Hodder and Stoughton
Year
1990
ISBN
0-340-508302
Description
A very well written and illustrated book based on the authors own experiments with living on a native diet.
]. The fruit is freely borne, it is sweet but has little flavour[
225
Title
The New Plantsman. Volume 2, 1995.
Publication
 
Author
Knees. S.
Publisher
Royal Horticultural Society
Year
1995
ISBN
1352-4186
Description
A quarterly magazine, it has articles on Coprosma species,
]. The fruit has a bitter flavour[
290
Title
Trees for Survival
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.tfsnz.org.nz/resources.cfm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent site, giving fairly comprehensive information on a small number of native New Zealand trees.
]. The orange fruit is about 9mm long x 5mm wide[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
,
225
Title
The New Plantsman. Volume 2, 1995.
Publication
 
Author
Knees. S.
Publisher
Royal Horticultural Society
Year
1995
ISBN
1352-4186
Description
A quarterly magazine, it has articles on Coprosma species,
].
The roasted seed is a coffee substitute[
153
Title
Economic Native Plants of New Zealand.
Publication
 
Author
Brooker. S. G., Cambie. R. C. and Cooper. R. C.
Publisher
Oxford University Press
Year
1991
ISBN
0-19-558229-2
Description
An interesting and readable book on the useful plants of New Zealand.
,
173
Title
Native Edible Plants of New Zealand.
Publication
 
Author
Crowe. A.
Publisher
Hodder and Stoughton
Year
1990
ISBN
0-340-508302
Description
A very well written and illustrated book based on the authors own experiments with living on a native diet.
]. It is said to make an excellent coffee, though the seeds are rather small[
225
Title
The New Plantsman. Volume 2, 1995.
Publication
 
Author
Knees. S.
Publisher
Royal Horticultural Society
Year
1995
ISBN
1352-4186
Description
A quarterly magazine, it has articles on Coprosma species,
].

Medicinal

A concoction of boiled leaves and twigs has been used to treat wounds that are not healing[
225
Title
The New Plantsman. Volume 2, 1995.
Publication
 
Author
Knees. S.
Publisher
Royal Horticultural Society
Year
1995
ISBN
1352-4186
Description
A quarterly magazine, it has articles on Coprosma species,
].
The decoction of the leaves has been drunk in the treatment of kidney troubles[
225
Title
The New Plantsman. Volume 2, 1995.
Publication
 
Author
Knees. S.
Publisher
Royal Horticultural Society
Year
1995
ISBN
1352-4186
Description
A quarterly magazine, it has articles on Coprosma species,
].

Other Uses

A yellow dye is obtained from the wood, it does not require a mordant[
153
Title
Economic Native Plants of New Zealand.
Publication
 
Author
Brooker. S. G., Cambie. R. C. and Cooper. R. C.
Publisher
Oxford University Press
Year
1991
ISBN
0-19-558229-2
Description
An interesting and readable book on the useful plants of New Zealand.
].
This species is one of the most useful plants for controlling soil erosion - it has been called the soil conservation workhorse[
290
Title
Trees for Survival
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.tfsnz.org.nz/resources.cfm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent site, giving fairly comprehensive information on a small number of native New Zealand trees.
]. It is suitable for general revegetation on bare infertile soils and provides good shelter for other more sensitive plants[
290
Title
Trees for Survival
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.tfsnz.org.nz/resources.cfm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent site, giving fairly comprehensive information on a small number of native New Zealand trees.
]. Early growth is fast, so it provides good rapid shelter for other plants, whilst its dense, fibrous root system makes it good for stabilising soil[
290
Title
Trees for Survival
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.tfsnz.org.nz/resources.cfm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent site, giving fairly comprehensive information on a small number of native New Zealand trees.
].

Propagation

Seed - probably best sown as soon as it is ripe in a greenhouse or cold frame[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
]. Sow stored seed in spring in a cold frame[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
]. Germination can be slow, often taking more than 12 months even when fresh seed is used[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
]. 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[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
].
Cuttings of mature wood of the current year's growth, autumn in a frame.

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