Coprosma acerosa ‘Hawera’
Coprosma means “smells like dung”, though I’m yet to come across any that smell this way.
This selection is a variety of Coprosma acerosa that was found growing on the cliffs near Hawera. Now incredibly popular for its bright green colour and its ground-hugging growth habit.
20cm x 1m. Bright fine, narrow but thick leaves. Stems are orange-brown. Flowers are insignificant, and the small white berries turn pale blue when ripe in March-April. Distinct from other varieties by its lush green colour and its very flat growing habit.
A perfect groundcover for exposed sites. Good also to cover clay banks – banks of looser soil might require plants with a stronger soil-holding capacity. Great contrast grown in front of taller growing plants, those with strong texture such as Libertia, Astelia and Phormium.
Set plants 1m apart. Hardy and easy-care, requiring only the occasional trim to avoid scruffiness. Avoid waterlogged soil. Stays more compressed in exposed sites.
Sand Coprosma (Coprosma acerosa) – leaves are flat against stems, and less significant. Low and wiry plant, but not as flat as Coprosma ‘Hawera’.
Coprosma ‘Goldstream’ – larger leaves, and growing more loosely. Becomes scruffy without maintenance. To 60cm high.
Coprosma ‘Red Rocks’ – orange-bronze leaves and stems, with the plant appearing as a low wiry mound of russeted stems.
Coprosma ‘Flat Freddy’ – an even flatter plant, with branches pressed against the ground. 15cm high. Bronze leaves, but more stem than leaf.
Coprosma ‘Taiko’ – dark green, thin leaves that are more flat and glossy. Leaves turn almost purplish in winter.
As with all Coprosma species, this plant is great as a food source for native skinks, geckos and birds. Also forms a sheltered zone close to ground-level for insects.