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Mirror bush (Coprosma repens)

Mirror bush (Coprosma repens )

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Family: Rubiaceae

Status:

Description:
A straggly shrub 2-4m high, with round, highly glossy and slightly fleshy leaves. If the plant is growing in a very dry situation the leaves may be rolled almost into a tube to reduce water loss from the leaf surface. Plants are either male or female. Flowers are small and white, followed by small fleshy orange berries on female plants. Cultivars with variegated foliage are sold in nurseries, and these should also be regarded as potentially weedy.

Preferred habitat and impacts:
Mirror bush is primarily a coastal weed, as it is mainly planted in coastal gardens due to its high salt tolerance. Usually found behind beaches or on coastal cliffs. It can invade coastal eucalypt forest and littoral rainforest.
The dense shade cast by mirror bush suppresses native vegetation.

Dispersal:
Birds and other animals. Movement of seed-contaminated soil. Probably takes root from dumped material.

Look-alikes:
A weed with glossy fleshy leaves is the shrubby climber, climbing groundsel (Senecio angulatus), but its leaves are bluntly angular, not circular. It has yellow daisy flowers, and seeds with a parachute of hairs, like those of dandelions.

Senecio angulatus Senecio angulatus

Control:
Seedlings and smaller plants can be hand-pulled or dug out. Cut and paint large plants. They are likely to re-sprout and require follow-up spraying. Plants with a waxy cuticle on the leaf such as mirror bush will need a penetrant added to any herbicide applied as a spray. Younger plants are more susceptible to sprays than older plants.
If staged removal is being done to prevent possible erosion remove female, fruit-producing plants first.