Looking Glass Plant

(Also known as Mirror Bush)

Coprosma repens

Family: Rubiaceae

Type of weed:

Flowering Months: , , , , ,

Description

A low, spreading, evergreen shrub to small tree 8m high.

Leaves are broadly oval, oppositely arranged with short stalks. Leaves are fleshy and glossy on the upper surface and paler with distinctive glands or pits underneath.

Flowers are small and greenish in small clusters in the leaf axil. It flowers spring to summer.

Fruit is contained in a fleshy globular drupe that matures from glossy green to orange-red.

Alert:

There is a native Coprosma in the Upper Blue Mountains: currant bush or coffee-berry (Coprosma hirtella, which has smaller leathery leaves with dark green and rough (scabrous) upper surfaces. There are no pits on the underside surface of the leaf.

Dispersal

This species reproduces by seed and also vegetatively by rooting of the lower branches (layering). The seeds are spread by birds and other animals and in dumped garden waste.

Impact on bushland

Infestations usually become established under trees where birds regularly perch. The plants then spread laterally and may eventually form dense clumps which impede the growth and regeneration of native plants.

Distribution

,

Alternative planting

Native plants

In the Upper Mountains plant:

  • Currant bush or coffee-berry (Coprosma hirtella).

Small local trees:

  • Hakea dactyloides
  • Callistemon spp
  • Acacia spp
  • Leptospermum spp.

Council provides a tool, on its Mountain Landscapes website, to help you choose native alternative plantings. Choose your village, soil, vegetation community and the purpose of your planting, and the tool will give you suggestions.

There are native nurseries in several Blue Mountains villages, including Glenbrook, Lawson and Katoomba. Please also ask at your favourite local nursery.

Control

Dig out seedlings and small plants. It is best to treat before the plants fruit. Bag and remove any fruit. Cut and paint established shrubs.

For key points on these techniques: