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Genus Coprosma Family Rubiaceae

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
Taxon concept:

Taxa not yet included in identification key
Coprosma baueri,    Coprosma huttoniana,    Coprosma inopinata,    Coprosma lanceolaris,    Coprosma prisca,    Coprosma putida

 Key to the species 
1Leaves 1–8 cm long, more than 10 mm wide; flowers in clusters2
Leaves less than 2 cm long, less than 6 mm wide; flowers solitary3
2Leaves leathery, apex acuminate, base attenuate, domatia absent or obscure on lower surfaceCoprosma hirtella
Leaves more or less fleshy, apex obtuse, truncate or emarginate, base abruptly tapered, domatia prominent on lower surface
                       Back to 1
Coprosma repens
3Erect shrubs; branches more or less spinescent; leaves to 2 cm long; drupe with persistent calyx lobes4
Prostrate shrubs or subshrubs; branches not spinescent; leaves mostly less than 10 mm long; drupe without persistent calyx lobes
                       Back to 1
5
4Leaves broad-ovate to lanceolate, thin-textured, venation reticulate; stipules triangularCoprosma quadrifida
Leaves linear to narrow-ovate, thick-textured, 1-veined; stipules tubular
                       Back to 3
Coprosma nitida
5Stipules 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 longCoprosma niphophila
Stipules shortly rounded to bluntly triangular; flowers strictly unisexual; subshrubs with stems to 60 cm long
                       Back to 3
6
6Leaves linear to narrow-oblanceolate, 6–13 mm long, mostly 1–2 mm wide, midvein distinct, more or less sessile; fruit bluishCoprosma 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
                       Back to 5
Coprosma perpusilla

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