Description: Woody shrubs or trees, mostly dioecious.
Leaves opposite, domatia sometimes present; stipules interpetiolar, often sheathing.
Flowers small and greenish, solitary or in terminal or axillary clusters. Calyx short, mostly 4- or 5-lobed, persistent in fruit. Corolla funnel-shaped or campanulate, 4–6-lobed. Stamens mostly 4 or 5, inserted at base of corolla tube, filaments long, anthers exserted. Ovary inferior, mostly 2-locular, each with 1 ovule. Style divided ± to base into 2–4 filiform branches, papillose-hirsute, far exserted.
Fruit a fleshy drupe with 1 or 2 pyrenes.
Distribution and occurrence: World: c. 90 species, Malesia, Australia, New Zealand, Polynesia, & Chile. Australia: 7 species (6 species endemic), N.S.W., Vic., Tas.
NOTE THAT THE TAXA NOT INCLUDED IN KEY ARE ALL SPECIES FROM LORD HOWE ISLAND
Text by T. A. James
Taxa not yet included in identification key
| ||Key to the species|| |
|1||Leaves 1–8 cm long, more than 10 mm wide; flowers in clusters||2|
|Leaves less than 2 cm long, less than 6 mm wide; flowers solitary||3|
|2||Leaves leathery, apex acuminate, base attenuate, domatia absent or obscure on lower surface||Coprosma hirtella|
|Leaves more or less fleshy, apex obtuse, truncate or emarginate, base abruptly tapered, domatia prominent on lower surface|
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|3||Erect shrubs; branches more or less spinescent; leaves to 2 cm long; drupe with persistent calyx lobes||4|
|Prostrate shrubs or subshrubs; branches not spinescent; leaves mostly less than 10 mm long; drupe without persistent calyx lobes|
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|4||Leaves broad-ovate to lanceolate, thin-textured, venation reticulate; stipules triangular||Coprosma quadrifida|
|Leaves linear to narrow-ovate, thick-textured, 1-veined; stipules tubular|
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|5||Stipules triangular and attenuate at apex; flowers often incompletely unisexual (both male and female with vestigial or functional organs of the opposite sex); shrub with stems to 1 m long||Coprosma niphophila|
|Stipules shortly rounded to bluntly triangular; flowers strictly unisexual; subshrubs with stems to 60 cm long|
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|6||Leaves linear to narrow-oblanceolate, 6–13 mm long, mostly 1–2 mm wide, midvein distinct, more or less sessile; fruit bluish||Coprosma nivalis|
|Leaves lanceolate to oblanceolate or ovate to obovate, 4.5–7 mm long, mostly 2–3.5 mm wide, midvein more or less obscure, shortly petiolate; fruit red to orange|
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