Coprosma lucida | Karamū

Drainage:DampVery DryWell Drained
Height Range:6
Site Conditions:CoastalExposedFrost TolerantHeavy SoilSandy SoilWindy
Spread Range:2.5
Sunlight:Full SunPartial Shade
Features:Attractive foliageAttractive to beesAttractive to BirdsAttractive to insectsEvergreenSuitable for HedgingSuitable for Revegetation SpeciesSuitable for Shelter


Coprosma lucida is endemic and commonly known as Karamū. It is a small tree that is ideal for coastal projects.  It can survive in many climates, but is most commonly found in coastal areas, lowland forests, or shrublands. It performs best where it can derive sufficient moisture and some shade, although it is tolerant of challenging locations such as coastal shrubland. Its wide, bright green leaves are thick, smooth, and shiny. Can be confused with C. robusta, as they share the same name in Te Reo, but the leaf of C. lucida has a pointier tip and the midrib forms a ridge on the upper leaf surface. Also, unlike C. robusta, it grows to become a small tree.

As with other Coprosma species, their berries are ideal for attracting birds, especially bellbirds, tuis and waxeye. This is one of the many reasons why Coprosma lucida is a key addition to coastal planting. Bird attracting plants help increase biodiversity because the bird droppings contain seeds of other plant species that may not have been planted for the project.

Karamū is used for a variety of purposes in human culture. The fruit that Coprosma lucida produces can be eaten, and the shoots of Karamū are sometimes used for medical purposes.

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