This section is from the book "The Standard Cyclopedia Of Horticulture Vol2", by L. H. Bailey. See also: Western Garden Book: More than 8,000 Plants - The Right Plants for Your Climate - Tips from Western Garden Experts.
(Greek name referring to the fetid odor of the plants). Rubiaceae. Shrubs or small trees, often trailing, of New Zealand, Australia and Polynesia, sometimes planted for the pretty fruit or variegated leaves.
Leaves opposite, mostly small, stalked or almost sessile: flowers small, solitary or fascicled, white or greenish, dioecious; corolla-limb 4-5-lobed, the lobes revolute; stamens 4-5: fruit an ovoid or globose usually 2-celled drupe. - About 60 species mostly in New Zeal., extending to Borneo, Hawaii and Juan Fernandez.
Coprosmas are greenhouse plants in the North, but they are rarely cultivated. Propagated by hardened cuttings. The soil which is found among kalmia roots, mixed with good loam and sand, if necessary, will suit these plants. Cuttings should be rooted in moderate heat in spring, before growth begins. If placed under a handlight or propagating-frame, care must be taken to prevent damping, to which the cuttings are liable. (G. W. Oliver.)
Baueri, Endl. (C. Baueriana, Hook, f.) Shrub or email tree, in exposed and rocky places in its native habitat sometimes not more than 1-3 ft. high and with branches nearly prostrate, in better conditions often a round-topped tree 20-25 ft. high: leaves thick, shining green, 1-3 in. long, wide-ovate or oblong, obtuse or notched at the apex, the margins usually revolute: male flowers in dense heads on short axillary peduncles; females 3-6, the heads with shorter peduncles; calyx very small; corolla of female flowers tubular, 4-lobed. New Zeal. - In cult, there are two forms, both with variegated leaves; one has leaves broadly blotched creamy yellow, at times the green disappearing altogether (variety variegata or picturata); the other (C. Stockii, Hort.) has leaves blotched yellow-green on a deeper ground. C. Baueri is a favorite in S. Calif., and probably the only one grown there; thrives near the sea.
A. Cunn. Low and spreading, much branched, with minute leaves, small white flowers, and pretty sky-blue drupes or berries. New Zeal. - Once catalogued in Calif.
Petriei, Cheesem. Prostrate and creeping, forming mats, the branches to 1 1/2 ft. long: leaves 1/4in. or less long, linear-oblong or -obovate, rigid and thickish: flowers solitary, on the ends of short erect branchlets, the males 4-toothed and without calyx, the females smaller, irregularly toothed and calyculate: drupe 1/3-1/2in. diam., mostly purplish. N. Zeal. - Mentioned abroad for cultivation. L. H. B.