Prickly Currant Bush

Description

Common names

Prickly Currant Bush, Native Currant, Prickly Currant-bush.

Scientific names

Coprosma quadrifida.

Family

Rubiaceae.

Genus

Coprosma.

Name origin

Coprosma, from Greek kopros, excrement, and osme, smell, referring to fetid leaf smell on most species. Quadrifida, from Latin quadri, four and fida meaning split into four parts.

Rainfall

900mm+.

Growth rate

Slow, moderate.

Growth height

2-4m.

Presence in Australia

Noted only in Upper Gilmore. Possibly also in surrounding areas in similar country.

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

Habitat

Damp sites in woodland, sclerophyll forest and cool-temperate rainforest. Usually along creeks.

Habit

Prickly, slender, open, upright shrub, 2-4m high. Very small, crowded shiny olive-green leaves.

Site preference

Protected, semi-shaded position in moist soil. Accepts poor drainage and seasonal waterlogging to 10cm deep. Drought sensitive. Tolerates salt.

Flowering

Greenish, summer. Inconspicuous.

Seed collection

Dec-Feb. Small red globular edible berries.

Propagation

From fresh seed or stem cuttings, which strike readily. Remove flesh from fruit and sow seeds soon after collection. Do not allow seed to dry. Seedlings usually appear in flush of germination, up to 5 months after sowing.

Regeneration

Frequently germinates on trunks of tree ferns where they grow as epiphytes.

Wildlife

Native birds eat fruit.

Ornamental

Useful for screening, hedges and barriers in wet, shady, cool positions. Blends well with ferns. Prune regularly to maintain neat shape.

Other

Edible fruits sweet and slightly astringent and can be used in cooking.