Last Modified: 18-5-2021 21:00
Coprosma atropurpurea is an extremely low growing, inconspicuous evergreen plant found in open areas of high country to montane regions throughout New Zealand. Unlike other Coprosma species that grow as shrubs or small trees, C. atropurpurea only grows a centimetre or two high, forming a ground cover and can be quite inconspicuous except when it is fruiting, as the translucent red berries somewhat resembling a red currant are quite striking. The fruit are non-toxic however not particularly appealing. As the Coprosma genus is part of the Rubiaciae family that coffee belongs to, the seeds could potentially be roasted and used as a coffee substitute, however the seeds are small, making such a task likely to be extremely tedious. The leaves are small and slightly hairy.
This example was observed growing around the river bed of Lees Creek in the Upper Wairau area, in a very typical habitat for the species.
Image Date: 8/5/2021
Photographer: Christopher Cookson
Location: Latitude: -41.963947 Longitude: 172.917740