This is a genus of about 90 species of evergreen shrub-like plants as well as small trees, many of which are endemic to New Zealand, with others originating in Australia and the Pacific regions. Some of the shrubs have a spreading habit and others are divaricating, which means that the stems have a branching habit. They are commonly known as the Mirror bush due to the high gloss of the leaves.
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There is a Coprosma for every landscape purpose, from groundcovers to specimen shrubs, hedging and shelter. They are a very tolerant group of plants, adaptable and hardy, will grow in sun or shade and don’t mind much about their soil conditions. They are low maintenance, quick growing, hardy and will benefit from a pruning in winter. Coprosmas can be found in a variety of environments from the mountains to the coast and there’s a place for them in all ornamental designs.
Many hybrids feature strong greens, bronzes, creams, pinks, apricots, bronze-blacks and mottled colours in the larger leaved species. The smaller leaved species have quirky textures and finely interwoven stems, which are sometimes a feature in themselves as they have a golden colour. The female plants produce an abundance of berries that feed birds such as wax eyes and lizards. They create good habitats for small birds and are ideally suited to revegetation projects and school grounds.
And just for some trivia, the name Coprosma means smelling like dung and refers to the smell given out by the crushed leaves of a few – not all - species! Nice dinner party conversation stoper!
Native. A spreading coprosma with dark brown foliage which darkens in winter to near black. Hardy and easy to grow. Makes a great groundcover for those tough spots in the garden. Will tolerate coastal conditions. Evergreen.
Habit: Spreading Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 20cm x 100cm
Native. A fabulous foliage plant with clean shiny foliage that has golden tones in summer. As autumn approaches and the temperatures drop the foliage gradually changes to tones of deep orange and fiery red. Will grow just about anywhere but needs protection from harsh frost. Evergreen. PVR1086.
'Evening Glow' will benefit from a hair cut every now and then. This is best done around about February on a warm dry day.
Habit: Compact Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 1.5m x 1.5m
Poor old Freddy not only is he flat he's not really all that handsome and can easily be walked upon. However he is very tough and hardy and will cover a lot of ground. Great little native to plant in difficult sites. Interesting fine brownish foliage on flat brown stems. Evergreen.
Colour: Assorted Habit: Spreading Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 15cm x 60cm
NZ Native. This form was discovered on cliffs near Hawera. It is a ground hugging native that forms a tight mat of small narrow olive green leaves. Excellent landscape plant for covering large areas of ground. Hardy, tolerant of cold and wind. Evergreen.
Colour: Assorted Habit: Spreading Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 40cm x 200cm
A NZ Native, compact form of the popular Hawera type. Forms a low compact spreading groundcover that will hug the ground. Hardy. Tolerant of cold and wind. Excellent for covering lager areas of ground.Evergreen
Habit: Spreading Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 15cm x 150cm
Native Standard. This quick growing vigorous Coprosma creates a mat of rich rounded glossy sage green leaves with cream edges and gold coloured stems. It is easily grown in a sunny position and makes an excellent weeping std suitable for pots,containers or as specimens in the garden. Grows in almost any sunny site. Frost, seashore and coastal tolerant. Evergreen.
Native. An interesting little shrub with stems that twist and tangle themselves into what is known as a divaricating mound. The foliage is tiny and the whole plant has tones of bronze-red. Hardy and robust - ideal for coastal sites. Plant in the sun. Evergreen.
Habit: Twisting Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 60cm x 120cm
This little Coprosma was discovered growing on the South Wellington coast so you know how tough and hardy it is to have survived there. Strong red/orange coloured leaves and stems. Tolerant of wind, salt and dry periods. Excellent ground cover that is happy to be trimmed. Evergreen.
Colour: Assorted Habit: Spreading Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 30cm x 100cm
Tightly branching shrub with very small leaves, green in shade but can be plum-purple in full sun. Plant several to get dark red fruit on the female. Clip for size and shape, great for low hedging especially in shady spots. Evergreen. Hardy.
Colour: Assorted Habit: Tight brunching rounded f Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 1.5m x 1.5m