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


Coprosma perpusilla subsp. perpusilla (Creeping Coprosma)

Kingdom: Plantae
(Unranked): Angiosperms
(Unranked): Eudicots
(Unranked): Asterids
Order: Gentianales
Family: Rubiaceae
Subfamily: Rubioideae
Tribe: Anthospermeae
Genus: Coprosma
Species: C. perpusilla
Binomial name: Coprosma perpusilla subsp. perpusilla
Synonym: Coprosma pumila
Common name: Creeping Coprosma

Coprosma perpusillais a native mat-forming or prostrate sub shrub with freely branching 30–40 cm long stems that root from their nodes.
The small lanceolate to ovate leaves are up to 7 mm long and up to 3.5 mm wide on short shoots.
The specific epithet perpusilla comes from the Latin per (very) and pusillus (very small), referring to the growth habit.
The unisexual, terminal, sessile flowers occur in summer on erect branchlets, and range in colour from greenish white to orange-yellow with red flecks. The fruit is an ovoid drupe 4–6 mm long and is yellow-orange to orange-red in colour.
The plant occurs in New Zealand and in Australia and the sub Antarctic islands of Macquarie, Campbell, the Aucklands and the Antipodes. Its New Zealand range is Gisborne (Raukumara Range), Volcanic Plateau (central volcanoes, Maungaharuru Range, Kaimanawa Range), Taranaki (Mt Taranaki, Pouakai Range.), Southern North Island (Ruahine Range, Tararua Range), Western Nelson, Sounds–Marlborough (including Mt Stokes), Canterbury, Westland, Otago (Mt Maungatua, central and western ranges), Fiordland; Stewart Island.
In New Zealand its altitude range is in the North Island (760)900–1430 m and in the South Island 850–1850 m. 
It grows on tussock lands, damp herbfields and rocklands.

Photographed at Otari Native Botanic Garden and Wilton's Bush Reserve. Wellington.



 



Photographed Mt Egmont/Taranaki May.