T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Nertera depressa (Bead plant)

Kingdom:   Plantae
(Unranked):        Angiosperms
(Unranked):        Eudicots
(Unranked):        Asterids
Order:       Gentianales
Family:      Rubiaceae
Genus:      Nertera
Species:     N. depressa
Binomial name:  Nertera depressa
Synonym:  Nertera granadensis, Coprosma nertera
Common names: Bead plant, Pincushion, Coral moss, Nertera, Fruiting duckweed.

Nertera depressa is a species of groundcover in the family Rubiaceae. N. depressa naturally occurs in New Zealand (North, South, Stewart, and Chatham) and subantarctic islands, eastern Australia including Tasmania and temperate southern South America including the Falkland Islands. This plant species was first collected on Tristan da Cunha and Inaccessible Island.
Its habitat is coastal to subalpine forest, scrub and grassland where the soil is boggy.  Its creeping leaves adorning banks and old stumps in moist areas of the forest. N. depressa forms small to large patches up to c.3m. The leaves are broadly ovate to triangular-ovate or rounded, usually 5-8mm long or more, fairly glossy bright green. When the leaves are bruised they have a foetid odour.
Green flowers appear Nov.–Feb followed in Dec.–May with orange or bright to dark red, c. 4 mm. diameter drupes.

 Nertera depressa growing down a wet papa bank North Taranaki