Coprosma repens- Family Rubiaceae
Looking for some fall color in your garden? We’ve just passed the fall equinox, and are excited about the upcoming season here at Clearwater Color Nursery. Coprosma, a New Zealand native, also called mirror plant, is a handsome, shiny flowering evergreen shrub that makes a good border, hedge, container plant, and can even be grown inside for an impressive splash of color. We grow 3 species, with a variation of colors.
Coprosma is known for its ease of maintenance, and will be a nice, full, bushy plant if pruned just twice a year. Some varieties can grow up to 6ft tall, and 10 feet wide, but tends to be smaller on the coast. Its flowers grow in compound clusters, with male and female flowers growing on separate plants. Coprosma prefers well drained, sandy soils, full sun to partial shade, and tolerates the coastal climate and salt air with ease. Drought tolerant, Coprosma has low water requirements. It can be helpful on a slope to stabilize soil erosion.
Historically, Coprosma species were used medicinally to alleviate pain and itching and also applied to boils and bruises. Branches found their way into religious ceremonies and bark was a source of dyes. The Family Rubiaceae is common to Gardenias, Coffees’ and quinine species. Repense is latin for creeping, a feature of our ‘Tequila Sunrise’ variety. It is said that naturalist Johann Reinhold Forster, accompanied Captain Cook on his 2nd Pacific voyage, and brought back samples.
‘Tequila Sunrise’s’ variegated leaves are initially shiny gold and bright green with deep green in the center of the leaves, maturing into bright orange, to burgundy in the fall and winter. ‘Pina Coladas’ smaller foliage will surprise you with its ability to fade into a color on the other side of the spectrum, with subtle delicacy. ‘Plum Hussey’ provides a rich, classy deep burgundy color in spite of her amusing name. It could also be noted that she does indeed, strut her stuff, contrasted against solid green plants or in a succulent garden. We are currently growing all 3 species in gallon containers. Please give us a call or see our website www.clearwatercolor.com to learn more.