Herb latin name: Coprosma robusta
Family: Rubiaceae (Madder Family)
Medicinal use of Coprosma robusta:A concoction of boiled leaves and twigs has been used to treat wounds that are not healing. The decoction of the leaves has been drunk in the treatment of kidney troubles.
Description of the plant:
Habitat of the herb:Lowland forest and shrubland, especially on alluvial soils, on North, South and Chatham Islands, south to latitude 45°south.
Edible parts of Coprosma robusta:Fruit - raw or cooked. The fruit is freely borne, it is sweet but has little flavour. The orange fruit is about 9mm long x 5mm wide. The roasted seed is a coffee substitute. It is said to make an excellent coffee, though the seeds are rather small.
Other uses of the herb:A yellow dye is obtained from the wood, it does not require a mordant.
Propagation of Coprosma robusta: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 the herb:Lowland forest and shrubland, especially on alluvial soils, on North, South and Chatham Islands, south to latitude 45°south.
Known hazards of Coprosma robusta:None known
Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.