Very glossy green leaves have a bright golden variegation in spring and summer with fantastic rusty orange-red fall and winter color. An excellent landscape shrub or small clipped hedge for mild winter areas. Adds great color to patio containers. Evergreen
Follow a regular watering schedule during the first growing season to establish a deep, extensive root system. Feed with a general purpose fertilizer before new growth begins in spring. For a tidy, neat appearance, shear annually to shape.
Mirror plants are the stars of the new high impact foliage and tropical color gardens for their year around impact. Makes a fine foundation plant to point out entries and architectural features. Also offers multi season interest in short range compositions. Use in shrub or mixed borders to provide structure against darker backgrounds and deep green foliage. Well sized for framing art or fountains with a nest of attractive bright foliage. Plant as an informal hedge or barrier to separate spaces.
Coprosma belongs with other warm climate beauties such as Camarillo Fiesta Bougainvillea, (Bougainvillea 'Monle'), Festival Grass Cordyline, (Cordyline x 'Jurred'), Strawberry Lemonade Variegated Mandevilla, (Mandevilla sanderi 'MonProud') and Blood Banana, (Musa acuminata zebrina). It's a natural for coastal favorites like Tahiti New Zealand Christmas Tree, (Metrosideros villosa 'Tahiti'), Chamallow Bush Mallow, (Lavatera x clementii 'Inovera'), and Tuscan Blue Rosemary, (Rosmarinus officinalis 'Tuscan Blue').
Across the South Pacific in Australia, New Zealand, and Borneo are about 60 species of this shiny leaf shrub. The genus was classified by the German, Johann Reinhold Forster in the late 18th century. Some species of Coprosma carry an unusual "catty"odor which led Forster to derive this genus name from the Greek for a fetid smell. One of the most famous collectors of Coprosma species was I. Bauer, who traveled New Zealand in 1804-1805. This cultivar is largely derived from robust but highly variable C. australis, a species introduced from New Zealand in 1823. Other qualities may be credited to a half dozen other species in cultivation. This variegated hybrid was introduced in New Zealand, and introduced in the U.S. by Monrovia Nursery Company, Azusa, California.
In the South Pacific and New Zealand, indigenous peoples use the wood and inner bark of coprosma as a yellow dye that requires no mordant. The leaves are used for an antibacterial wound poultice. Seeds are ground as a coffee substitute.