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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.

Text by T. A. James, Key modified by K.L. Gibbons to include LHI species from Green, P.S, (1994) Flora of Australia 49: 352–357
Taxon concept:

Taxa not yet included in identification key
Coprosma baueri

 Key to the species 
1NSW Coast or Tablelands2
Lord Howe Island8
2Leaves 10–80 mm long, more than 10 mm wide; flowers in clusters3
Leaves less than 20 mm long, less than 6 mm wide; flowers solitary
                       Back to 1
4
3Leaves 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 2
Coprosma repens
4Erect shrubs; branches more or less spinescent; leaves to 20 mm long; drupe with persistent calyx lobes5
Prostrate shrubs or subshrubs; branches not spinescent; leaves mostly less than 10 mm long; drupe without persistent calyx lobes
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6
5Leaves broad-ovate to lanceolate, thin-textured, venation reticulate; stipules triangularCoprosma quadrifida
Leaves linear to narrow-ovate, thick-textured, 1-veined; stipules tubular
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Coprosma nitida
6Stipules 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 100 cm longCoprosma niphophila
Stipules shortly rounded to bluntly triangular; flowers strictly unisexual; subshrubs with stems to 60 cm long
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7
7Leaves 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 6
Coprosma perpusilla
8Scrambling or prostrate shrub with shoots to 50 cm tall; leaves 7–13 mm longCoprosma inopinata
Shrub or small tree, more or less erect; leaves at least 20 mm long
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9
9Stipules without distinct linear acumen; fruit obovoid, 4–7 mm longCoprosma prisca
Stipules with distinct linear acumen 1.5 mm or more long; fruit ellipsoidal, at least 8 mm long
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10
10Leaves obtuse to rounded with very short apiculum; stipule acumen 6–10 mm long; leaves and stems fetid when cut or bruised; fruit 20 mm longCoprosma putida
Leaves acute or very slightly acuminate; stipule acumen 3–4 mm long; leaves and stems not fetid when cut or bruised; fruit 8–10 mm long
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11
11Most leaves with 2 prominent domatia beneath, c. 1/3 of the leaf length from apex; primary veins at an angle of c. 30 degrees to midribCoprosma lanceolaris
All leaves without domatia underneath; primary veins at aan angle of c. 50 degrees to midrib
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Coprosma huttoniana

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