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A dwarf plant with prostrate stems forming broad patches 2 to 3 in. high. The leaves are dark green, densely crowded, narrow oblong or obovate, 1⁄8 to 1⁄4 in. long, more or less hairy. Fruit ranging in colour from port-wine (var. atropurpurea Ckn. & Allan) to various shades of blue, only borne in the presence of a male plant. A native of New Zealand, found in both islands to about 4,000 ft.
Male and female plants (the latter with pearly white fruits) are available from an introduction by Graham Hutchins from Lake Lyndon in the South Island in 1977. There is also a female clone with pale blue fruits introduced in 1981 by the same collector. It is of interest that, despite the readiness with which the coprosmas hybridise, the typical variety with white or pale blue fruits does not cross in the wild with the var. atropurpurea with wine-red fruits (Fl. New Zealand, Vol. 1, p. 566). This suggests that in gardens the male clone mentioned above, which belongs to the typical variety, would not pollinate a female var. atropurpurea.
C. ‘Blue Pearls’. – A hybrid between C. petriei and C. brunnea raised at the County Park Nursery, with blue fruits.
C. cheesemanii W. R. B. Oliver C. depressa sens. Cheesem., not Hook. f. – A low, spreading shrub, or prostrate, with linear or narrowly oblong leaves slightly larger than those of C. petriei, up to almost 1⁄2 in. long. Fruits red or orange-red, globose, about 1⁄4 in. wide. Of wide distribution in New Zealand at fairly high altitudes.