Thursday, November 19, 2015

Do you get confused with all the small leaf coprosmas?

Maxine Fraser did a bit of research and compiled this report that may help you.
On 3rd July 2011, there was a short workshop at Tamahere Nursery pointing out the conditions for these shrubs commonly used in Waikato gully restoration.  Plants which prefer the wettest sites feature first, followed by those that prefer less wet areas.
                                 Berry colour                                 Notes
C. tenuicaulia           Black        Very similar to C.areolate, but with tuft at stipule.

C. propinqua            Dark blue/flecked              Freely hybridises with C.robusta
C. rotundifolia           Orange/red
C. rigida                    White/yellow/orange
C.areolata                Dark purple
C. spathulata            Orange/dark red/black.         Very similar to C. areolate (white berries and fruits only when large tree).
C. rhamnoides           Dark red.
Following reading Small Leaved Shrubs of New Zealand (Wilson H., and Galloway, T, 1993), consulting the databases of New Zealand Plant Conservation Network and the Waikato Regional Council’s What to plant in Waikato Wetlands as well as my observation of plants in the wild, I have concluded that tenuicaulia is ‘the’ swamp coprosma (to which it is often referred), so I would plant this at the wettest end of list.  tenuicaulis and propinqua prefer boggy, low-fertile and poorly-drained sites.

C. rhamnoides is at the driest end of the list but does not like dry conditions, just less wet and free-draining.

Another study from Waikato University stated that these shrubs having separate male and female plants (dioecious), should be planted no further than seven (7) metres apart to ensure optimal wind pollination.

A reminder that to enlarge any photo in this blog just click on it.

Counting NZ Butterflies

Photo by Tony Wills
The Red Admiral butterfly has become rather rare, in and around Hamilton City so we have been investigating introducing plants that they use to feed and breed on.
In the meantime there has been an intuitive being run by the Monarch Butterfly NZ Trust to develop an annual butterfly census being done from the 10th to the 30th Nov (not many days left).  This is not just for Monarchs. The link to their site is:

Or a direct link to their very colourful census form:

Step upgrade

For those that use the steps down beside the big walk bridge you will have noticed that we have upgraded the lower end of the steps. This badly need attention. Downer, again, willingly donated millings (shingle) to complete the job. These are designed and built to DOC specs.

Building steps as a fund raiser

Our Trust built a set of steps for a private individual as a fund raiser. It was the most complex that we had built but the finished article was very impressive and gave the owners easy access to their gully. Our team suggested we make ourselves available to do another job if anyone needed a set. Maybe one build a year. It is not something that we want to be doing a lot of. Cost wise? The set in the photo is quite big and cost just under one thousand dollars all up, so a set half the size would be about half that.

We’ve been busy planting

Our last count for the planting season now stands at 1483 plants (HCC supplying approx.700) going into the ground this past winter many of which were infilling to thicken up the understory or to introduce plants that either are not in the gully or there are not many of a particular variety.