Freshly foraged Taupata Berry snack, with Alpaca's in the background! (because why not!).
Taupata & Karamu berries are in season. If you live near the coast in New Zealand you'll be very familiar with the glossy Taupata plants.
The ripe berries of Taupata (Coprosma repens), Karamu (Coprosma lucida & repens) & Kanono (Coprosma Grandifolia) are all edible, so these are a great NZ Native to learn to identify.
Go for the very ripe berries which are sweet and juicy, the not so ripe berries are not really worth the bother! I pick & eat straight off the plant as a walking snack, always leaving enough berries for the birds to feed & of course for the plant to reproduce. I've heard of people making jam, but it's so time consuming to gather them, I can't really be bothered. I'll just wait for the blackberries! I've gathered a handful of Taupata berries today and we will eat them on our breakfast cereal tomorrow.
Beware there are substantial sized seeds inside, which are supposed to also be good for coffee making. As far back as 1877 a MR JC Crawford made coffee of the Taupata berries seeds and thought that the roasted and grounded seeds had a 'splendid coffee aroma'. So much so that he recommended the culture & manufacture of coffee from these seeds. Has anyone tried this?
Coprosmas come from a large family, and you'll notice that the plants have opposite leaves, which have tiny little holes underneath them running parallel to the midrib of the leaf. Where the leaves join the stem there is a tiny pokey out thing (a stipule). These tips help to I.D. Coprosma.