Coprosma rhamnoides (Twiggy coprosma)
Species: C. rhamnoides
Binomial name: Coprosma rhamnoides
Synonym : Coprosma polymorpha
Common name: Twiggy coprosma, Mingimingi. Red fruited karamu
Coprosma rhamnoides is a tightly divaricating shrub (1-2m) with very small leaved shrub that is native to New Zealand. It endemic to the North, South and Stewart Island. It is wide spread in Canterbury and Westland in lowland to lower montane-scrubland and forest mostly as an understorey plant. It is less common higher in the montane zone.
Coprosma rhamnoides has stiff interlaced reddish-brown barked branches and branchlets. Branchlets have fine hairs on them
The leaves can be variously shaped from narrow to almost round, typically on the same bush but occasionally some plants have all the same shaped leaves.
In October the plants develop small pale cream flowers which are dioecious (sexes separate). These flowers are wind pollinated. Drupes appear on the female plant in March-April small (3-4mm) red berries, turning dark red or black as they ripen
The N.Z. flora has a large number of shrubs with small tough leaves and wiry interlacing branches – divaricates. Some even have brown or grey new growth, giving a dead-like unattractive appearance. It is suggested that this may be a defensive growth mechanism to deter visits from browsing moa. Coprosma rhamnoides is a good example.
The berries, which turn dark red or black as they ripen (March)
The leaves are very variable in shape.
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