Herb latin name: Coprosma propinqua

Family: Rubiaceae (Madder Family)

Edible parts of Coprosma propinqua:

Fruit - raw or cooked. Sweet, but with little flavour. The pale to deep violet-blue fruit is about 8mm wide. The roasted seed is an excellent coffee substitute.

Description of the plant:


6 m
(20 feet)

to March

Habitat of the herb:

Damp places. Gravelly places throughout New Zealand.

Other uses of Coprosma propinqua:

Tolerant of pruning, it makes a good dense hedging plant. A yellow dye is obtained from the wood, it does not require a mordant.

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 propinqua:

Damp places. Gravelly places throughout New Zealand.

Medicinal use of the herb:

None known

Known hazards of Coprosma propinqua:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.