Rough Coprosma

Description

Common names

Rough Coprosma, Coffee Berry, Coffee-berry, Currant Bush.

Scientific names

Coprosma hirtella.

Family

Rubiaceae.

Genus

Coprosma.

Name origin

Coprosma, from Greek kopros, excrement, and osme, smell, referring to fetid leaf smell on most species. Hirtella, from Latin hirtus, shaggy, referring to rough leaf surface.

Rainfall

950mm+.

Growth rate

Fast.

Growth height

Up to 2m.

Presence in Australia

Not widespread. Noted in the areas Upper Gilmore; Upper Adelong & Upper Yaven and Bringenbrong-Khancoban.

This specie has been identified in the following Australian states: NSW, ACT, Vic, Tas, SA.

Habitat

Damp sites at higher altitudes. Usually on hillsides in woodland, or scrub on granite or basalt.

Habit

Erect slender shrub to about 2m high with rigid branches.

Site preference

Moist, well-drained sheltered site. Tolerates frost.

Characteristics

Fast-growing. Fire retarder.

Flowering

Greenish, summer. Small and inconspicuous.

Seed collection

Harvest fruit when reddish-orange by hand, or knock fruit onto ground sheets.

Propagation

From fresh seed or stem cuttings, which strike readily. Remove flesh from fruit and sow seed soon after collection. Do not allow seed to dry. Seedlings usually appear in flush of germination.

Wildlife

Good habitat. Fruit eaten by various mammals and birds. Prickly foliage good refuge for small birds.

Koori

Fruit eaten.

Ornamental

Useful ornamental with colourful fruit. Easily grown in protected garden position in partial or dappled sun. Requires extra water during dry periods.

Other

Showy edible fruit are sweet but leave an unpleasant aftertaste.