Coprosma intertexta is a South Island endemic shrub that is at risk and declining in the wild. Sparsely distributed, perhaps most common in the inland basins of Canterbury and Otago. Found in dry intermontane basins where it usually grows in grey scrub overlying old moraines, coarse alluvium, boulder piles and or rock outcrops. These dry woodland areas naturally exist in their own right, but are also remnants of past vegetation in the succession of broadleaf/podocarp forest for more stable areas. Where areas are not favourable to re-establish these podocarp forests, condition the soil with a mix of dry woodland plants like (but not limited to) Coprosma intertexta, Coprosma crassifolia, Corokia cotoneaster, Discaria toumatou, Sophora prostrata, Kānuka and Poa cita.
Coprosma intertexta is a bushy reddish wide-angled tangled shrub with very small needle-like leaves. As a seedling, the bark is initially pale-grey but as the shrub matures, the bark turns dark brown. The grey-green leaves are only 10mm long, often curved sideways, sometimes with tiny hairs on the upper surface. C. intertexta flowers from October to February, producing pale white or blue drupes that are food for birds and other frugivory from July to December.
As a coloniser of rocky outcrops and inland basins, C. intertexta is great for exposed and windy sites. It is frost hardy and thrives in full sun.
For more information on plant communities, we recommend DOC’s publication Native Plant Communities of the Canterbury Plains.