Mirror Bush - The Small Leathery Bright Green Leaves of the Plant
The Leathery Bright Green Leaves of the Plant

Mirror Bush (Coprosma repens)

The bad news is that Mirror Bush is a weed. The good news is that the plant varieties are not.

So, in a decisive way, the editorial team of ‘Kalliergeia’ throws bad news at sea and keeps only good.

And that’s not because wants to hear only pleasant things – by the way, wants it. But, when it comes to the varieties offered by the Mirror Bush, there is talk of an epic proportions colorful spectacular.

As a voice, following the example of the well-known naturalist Homer, the editorial team of ‘Kalliergeia’ offers to compose the epic of the Mirror Bush. Because without the Mirror Bush, there would not be its varieties, as without the Iliad there would be no Odyssey.

MirrorBushiad, that’s how it is – in less than 15,693 verses.

Mirror Bush Origin

Mirror Bush (Coprosma repens)

Mirror Bush, Native Shrubs on a Coast of South Australia
Native Shrubs on a Coast of South Australia
Mirror Bush, its Ripe Edible Fruits - © Phil Bendle
Mirror Bush, its Ripe Edible Fruits - © Phil Bendle

Mirror Bush (Coprosma repens) - Brief Description

Scientific name

Coprosma repens A. Rich.

Common name

Mirror Bush, Looking-glass Bush, Taupata, New Zealand Laurel, Shiny Leaf


General characteristics

Type of foliage: Evergreen

Form: Shrub or small tree, with widely-spreading stems and round-symmetrical canopy

Texture: Fine

Height: 3-5 m (10-16 ft)

Diameter: 3-5 m (10-16 ft)

Growth rate: Medium

Flowering period: May – June

Fruiting period: Summer – Autumn


Shape and colours

Bark: Dark to light brown

Leaves shape: Elliptic-ovate

Foliage colour: Green

Foliage colour in autumn: Green

Flowers shape: On inflorescence axillary or terminal thyrses – compound clusters on branched peduncles, campanulate-funnel form

Flowers colour: Male, pale green or whitish – Female, whitish-pink

Fruit: Reddish-orange drupe



Soil type: Exellent draining but moist, sand, loam, acidic to mildly alkaline

Exposure: Sun

Soil pH: 5.5-7.5

Watering: Medium

Hardiness: −9 °C (15 °F – USDA Hardiness zone 8b)



Hedges, mixed hedges, coastal areas

Mirror Bush (Coprosma repens)

Mirror Bush, the Female Flowers of the Plant
Mirror Bush, the Female Flowers of the Plant

Mirror Bush (Coprosma repens) - General Notes

  1. The name of the genus Coprosma is new Latin word derived from two ancient Greek, the κόπρος‘ and οσμή‘. The first, don’t flatter especially the genus after means ‘dung’. The second, the word  οσμή‘ – means smell – combined with the first, clearly gives a different air. The inventive genus name due to the property of the leaves of some species, which when crushed, leave a similar of ‘dung’ odor 
    (methanethiol). On the other hand, the species name repens is more clean, pure Latin and means ‘creep, crawl’. The leaves of  the repens species has not the above mentioned property, but ’It’s better to lose an eye than to get a bad name’ and Coprosma repens, propably has not even eye.
  2. Native New Zealand plant the Mirror Bush occurs either as a shrub or as a small tree. What exactly from the two formats will get depends on the particular circumstances of its ecological niche. So, in areas exposed to strong winds will get bushy and rampant form, while in sheltered places, tree form. In its natural state is found mostly in coastal areas and rare inland. It grows on dry hillsides and slopes, rocky and gravel areas as well as in coastal forest clearings.
  3. The Mirror Bush grows in a variety of soil types, from sandy to loamy, but which must drain well. However, it thrives in slightly acidic soils of medium texture and moderate fertility.
  4. Mirror Bush is dioecious species and flowering begins in late spring. The flowers are brought up in an axillary or terminal thyrses Inflorescence, usually reduced to few-flowered dichasia or a single flower – males 3 to 20 per dichasio, females about 3 per dichasio. After the pollination, female flowers formed the fruits, which are red-orange fleshy drupes with 1 or 2 seeds.

Mirror Bush (Coprosma repens)

Mirror Bush, the Expanded Male Flowers of the Plant
Mirror Bush, the Male Flowers of the Plant
Mirror Bush (Coprosma repens) - Additional Informations
  1. Mirror Bush is a highly adaptive plant. When found in the appropriate soil-climatic conditions – hot areas and with an annual rainfall height of over 600 mm – it tends to become or becomes a weed. This fact has forced many countries, whose distribution has been disturbing (South Africa, Australia, etc.), to ban its marketing. It should be noted, however, that most varieties of the species do not have this characteristic because they are reproduced only vegetative of male or female plants or do not blossom.
  2. The plant’s resistance to drought, wind and salt spray is remarkable, making it suitable for planting in ‘difficult’ areas such as seaside. Also is remarkable its fire toleration – fire kills only the top growth but it regenerates from the roots.
  3. From pests and diseasses it does not face serious problems. Sometimes scales, mealy bugs and aphids can affect the plant, but they are treated with the appropriate formulations.

Mirror Bush (Coprosma repens)

Mirror Bush, Female Flowers and Unripe Fruits - © Phil Bendle
Mirror Bush, Female Flowers and Unripe Fruits - © Phil Bendle

Mirror Bush (Coprosma repens) - Use and Varieties

  1. The fruits of the plant are edible. When they are not eaten by birds or animals (foxes, podsums, etc), they can be consumed by humans because it is avery good source of vitamin C. Its seeds can also be used to make coffee, which, as it is called , is extremely tasty. It is also worth noting that in Australia, with his leaves, children make whistles.
  2. Lot ofplant varieties have been created, offering a significant range of foliage with exquisite ornamental colors. Some of the most important are:
  • Coprosma repens ‘Evening Glow’
  • Coprosma repens ‘Marble Queen’
  • Coprosma repens ‘Pink Splendor’
  • Coprosma repens ‘Taupata Gold’
  • Coprosma repens ‘Picturata’
  • Coprosma repens ‘Pacific Sunset’
  1. The New Zealanders The Human Instinct, a fresh musical rock ensemble of the early 1970s, with their song ‘Black Sally, musically completes the tribute to their compatriot Mirror Bush.


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