Coprosma propinqua

4 Jan

Coprosma propinqua (18/11/2012, Kew Gardens, London)

Coprosma propinqua (18/11/2012, Kew Gardens, London)

Position: Full sun to light shade

Flowering period: Early spring

Soil: Moist, well drained

Eventual Height: 3m

Eventual Spread: 3m

Hardiness: 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b, 10a, 10b, 11

Family: Rubiaceae

Coprosma propinqua is an rounded evergreen shrub with a variable habit. Its mid green leaves are elliptic with entire margins, up to 15mm broad and 4mm wide. Its red/ brown branches are densely arranged. Its flowers are dioecious and are wind pollinated. Its purple/ dark blue fruit is a drupe, are up to 4mm across and appear in late summer.

Coprosma propinqua, commonly known as Swamp Coprosma or Mingimingi, is native to New Zealand. In its native habitat it grows in swampy forests and scrub. It will readily cross with Coprosma robusta.

The etymological root of the binomial name Coprosma is derived from the Greek Kopros meaning ‘excrement’ or ‘ordure’, alluding to the fetid smell of this shrub. Propinqua is derived from the Latin propinquus meaning ‘nearly related’.

The landscape architect may find Coprosma propinqua useful for regenerating wetland areas, particularly New Zealand where it is indigenous.

Coprosma propinqua Berry (18/11/2012, Kew Gardens, London)

Coprosma propinqua Berry (18/11/2012, Kew Gardens, London)

Ecologically, Coprosma propinqua berries are attractive to birds which aids the spread of this shrub.

Coprosma propinqua  prefers moist, fertile, well-drained soils. It prefers an acid to neutral pH of soil. It will tolerate wet soils.

Coprosma propinqua requires little maintenance. Pruning may be carried out any time of year.

Davis Landscape Architecture

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