Scientific Name:
Coprosma obconica Kirk, Stud. Fl. New Zealand 237 (1899)

Erect to prostrate, evergreen, dioecious, densely matted shrub 0.1–3.5 m tall × 0.8–5 m wide. Main stem usually solitary, sometimes two or more, up to 30 mm diameter; branches numerous, divaricate, lateral shoots decussate, straight, or decurved; mature branches brown, pale to dark silver-grey, or almost black, outer bark papery or corky, persistent or shedding in small, irregular or tabular flakes; inner bark dark green when exposed. Juvenile shoots slender c. 1 mm diam., ± terete, initially pale red-brown, maturing brown, silver- grey to almost black, densely clothed in minute patent hairs. Brachyblasts initiating at apex of penultimate flush usually with expanded leaves ultimately, the rest of the brachyblast clothed in stipules. Leaves glabrous, opposite. Seedling leaves broadly elliptic to oblanceolate, lamina c. 12 × 4 mm, notably thinner than those of adult leaves, with margins slightly thickened and recurved; apex rounded, never acuminate, in live plant the midrib and veins bronzed and outlined in green. Adult leaves broadly elliptic to oblanceolate; petioles distinctly articulate to stem rather obscure and strap-like, usually less than 0.5 mm long, in fresh material sometimes crimson; lamina 3.5–12 × 1.5–2.5(–3.5) mm (to 20 × 4.5 mm in shade leaves of subsp. distantia), margins smoothly rounded and strongly recurved when dry, apex obtuse, often extended further into a blunt subtriangular acumen to c. 0.5–(0.75) mm long; base tapering; domatia lacking; lamina light to dark greyish green sometimes mottled yellow, glossy, usually strongly rugose above when dry, plane or faintly longitudinally rugose below, midrib and lateral veins not or hardly apparent on either surface. Stipules, c. 0.7–1.0 mm long, shortly sheathing, margins ± densely ciliate, hairs pale, short and ± straight on lower margins, longer and villous distally and usually forming a conspicuous coma at the stipule apex, the hairs ± concealing the 1–2(–5) pairs of minute dark glandular denticles. Plants unisexual; flowers solitary or in pairs, borne at the apex of very short (newly expanded) side shoots of the second or tertiary order and similarly on leafy brachyblasts lateral on these side-shoots (brachyblasts fertile for 1–2(– 3) seasons at least), terminal and sometimes also in axils of the adjacent (normal-sized) pair of leaves. Pedicels very short, 2-noded with the leaf blades much reduced. Male flowers with calyx c. 3 mm long. Corolla tube c. 1 mm long, funnel-form, greenish or crimson, flecked violet, corolla 4-lobed, opening to half length of tube, narrowly ovate 1.5–2 × 0.6 mm, margins villous. Filaments 4, 6– 9 mm long at anthesis, basifixed, green, papillosepubescent; anthers 1.75 mm long, lanceolate, apex strongly apiculate, dorsifixed. Pollen creamy yellow. Female flowers with calyx c. 1.6 mm long, adnate to ovary. Corolla tube c. 1.5 mm long, funnel-form, greenish with crimson flecks, corolla 4-lobed, opening to half length of tube, shortly ovate 2.5– 3 × 0.6 mm, margins villous. Ovary ovoid, green, 2-locular. Stigmas 2, 6 mm long, terete, papillosepubescent; stigmatic hairs c. 0.25 mm long, greenish white. Drupes subglobose, when fresh, c. 5 mm diam., drying obconic-didymous, calyx lobes persistent but remaining minute, epidermis of drupe either greenish white to cream, or translucent, variously streaked or blotched dark violet-purple or uniformly cream to pale lemon; flesh colourless to very pale yellowish. Pyrenes c. 3 × 2.2 mm, 2.5 mm deep, pale coloured, somewhat naviculate or clog-shaped, having a deep rounded distal part and a shallower subtriangular proximal operculum-bearing part, the two parts separated ventrally by a narrow transverse indentation above the operculum. FL Apr-Aug; FR Jan-Sep.

[Reproduced from de Lange & Gardner (2002, New Zealand J. Bot. 40: 25-38) with permission from The Royal Society of New Zealand.]

Indigenous (Endemic)
de Lange, P.J.; Gardner, R.C.; Wright, S.D.; Wichman, S.R. 2002: A new combination for a Coprosma endemic to the serpentinised zone of the Surville Cliffs, North Cape, New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Botany 40(3): 521–522.
de Lange, P.J.; Gardner, R.O. 2002: A taxonomic reappraisal of Coprosma obconica Kirk (Rubiaceae: Anthospermeae). New Zealand Journal of Botany 40(1): 25–38.
de Lange, P.J.; Norton, D.A.; Courtney, S.P.; Heenan, P.B.; Barkla, J.W.; Cameron, E.K.; Hitchmough, R.; Townsend, A.J. 2009: Threatened and uncommon plants of New Zealand (2008 revision). New Zealand Journal of Botany 47: 61–96. [Declining]
de Lange, P.J.; Norton, D.A.; Heenan, P.B.; Courtney, S.P.; Molloy, B.P.J.; Ogle, C.C.; Rance, B.D. 2004: Threatened and uncommon plants of New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Botany 42(1): 45–76.
de Lange, P.J.; Rolfe, J.R.; Barkla J.W.; Courtney, S.P.; Champion, P.D.; Perrie, L.R.; Beadel, S.N.; Ford, K.A.; Breitwieser, I.; Schönberger, I.; Hindmarsh-Walls, R.; Heenan, P.B.; Ladley, K. 2018: Conservation status of New Zealand indigenous vascular plants, 2017. New Zealand Threat Classification Series. No. 22. [Nationally Vulnerable]
de Lange, P.J.; Rolfe, J.R.; Champion, P.D.; Courtney, S.P.; Heenan, P.B.; Barkla, J.W.; Cameron, E.K.; Norton, D.A.; Hitchmough, R.A. 2013: Conservation status of New Zealand indigenous vascular plants, 2012. New Zealand Threat Classification Series 3. Department of Conservation, Wellington. [Declining]
Kirk,T. 1899: The Students' Flora of New Zealand and the Outlying Islands. Government Printer, Wellington, N.Z.