Herb latin name: Coprosma petriei
Family: Rubiaceae (Madder Family)
Edible parts of Coprosma petriei:Fruit - raw or cooked. Sweet, but without much flavour. The fruits vary in colour from white to blue or sea-green. The fruit is seldom borne in Britain. The fruit is about 12mm wide. The roasted seed is an excellent coffee substitute.
Description of the plant:
Habitat of the herb:Lowland to higher montane grassland, stream margins, rocky places and dry river beds on North and South Islands.
Other uses of Coprosma petriei:A yellow dye is obtained from the wood, it does not require a mordant. A dense carpeting plant, it can be planted about 25cm apart to form a ground cover. The cultivar "Violet Drops" is much more vigorous than the type, forming compact mats up to 2 metres across and making a very good ground cover.
Propagation of the herb:Seed - probably best sown as soon as it is ripe in a greenhouse or cold frame. Sow stored seed in spring in a cold frame. Germination can be slow, often taking more than 12 months even when fresh seed is used. When the seedlings are large enough to handle, prick them out into individual pots. Grow on the plants for at least their first winter in a greenhouse and plant out in late spring or early summer. Give the plants some protection from the cold for their first winter outdoors. Cuttings of mature wood of the current year's growth, autumn in a frame.
Cultivation of Coprosma petriei:Lowland to higher montane grassland, stream margins, rocky places and dry river beds on North and South Islands.
Medicinal use of the herb:None known
Known hazards of Coprosma petriei:None known
Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.