Veronica zygantha


Veronica: Named after Saint Veronica, who gave Jesus her veil to wipe his brow as he carried the cross through Jerusalem, perhaps because the common name of this plant is 'speedwell'. The name Veronica is often believed to derive from the Latin vera 'truth' and iconica 'image', but it is actually derived from the Macedonian name Berenice which means 'bearer of victory'.

Current Conservation Status

2018 - At Risk - Naturally Uncommon

Conservation status of New Zealand indigenous vascular plants, 2012
The conservation status of all known New Zealand vascular plant taxa at the rank of species and below were reassessed in 2012 using the New Zealand Threat Classification System (NZTCS). This report includes a statistical summary and brief notes on changes since 2009 and replaces all previous NZTCS lists for vascular plants. Authors: Peter J. de Lange, Jeremy R. Rolfe, Paul D. Champion, Shannel P. Courtney, Peter B. Heenan, John W. Barkla, Ewen K. Cameron, David A. Norton and Rodney A. Hitchmough. File size: 792KB

Previous Conservation Status

2012 - Not Threatened
2009 - Not Threatened
2004 - Not Threatened


Veronica zygantha Garn.-Jones



Flora Category

Vascular - Native

Structural Class

Dicotyledonous Herbs other than Composites


Parahebe laxa (G.Simpson et J.S.Thomson) W.R.B.Oliv., Parahebe plano-petiolata var. laxa (G.Simpson et J.S.Thomson) Ashwin, Veronica laxa G.Simpson et J.S.Thomson nom. illegit.


Endemic. New Zealand: South Island: (Fiordland (Freeman Burn, Fowler Pass, Doon River,


Subalpine to alpine. Inhabiting screes, talus slopes and moraines often in fine sandy debris accumulated among boulders. Often on east-facing boulder screes and talus slopes below cliffs.


Subshrub (softly woody) to 150 mm tall. Stems dark brown or grey. Branches decumbent to ascending. Branchlets brown to red-brown. Vegetative internodes 1-20 mm long. Stems uniformly eglandular-pubescent to glandular puberulent. Leaves erecto-patent to spreading. Lamina elliptic, orbicular or spathulate, 3-10 × 2-9 mm. Upper surface of leaves glossy, bright green; under surface of leaves dull, pale green. Leaf hairs absent. Apex rounded or truncate. Base cuneate. Margin glabrous, crenate or bluntly serrate; teeth or lobes in 0-5 pairs. Petiole 3-5 mm long. Inflorescence 1(-3)-flowered, 8-15 mm long at fruiting. Indumentum of peduncle, rachis, and pedicels moderately dense. Eglandular hairs of inflorescence, white, antrorse (curved). Peduncle 1-12 mm long, eglandular-pubescent. Rachis 0-20 mm long, eglandular-pubescent. Bracts alternate obtuse, glabrous, spathulate, margins entire. Pedicels 1-3 mm long, eglandular-pubescent. Flowers white at anthesis, throat white or yellow. Nectar guides absent. Calyx 4-lobed, 4-8 mm long, glabrous, lobes oblanceolate to obovate, subacute to obtuse, margins entire, glabrous. Corolla 5–6 mm diameter, tube 1.5-3.0 × 1.5-2.0 mm wide, glabrous. Stamen filaments white, 0.5-2.0 mm long. Anthers purple, 1.0-1.5 mm long. Nectarial disc glabrous. Ovary globose, obtuse, glabrous, 1-2 mm long. Style 0.5-3.0 mm long. Capsules strongly flattened, didymous, 4-5 × 3.5-5.0 mm, 1.5–2 mm thick, glabrous. Septicidal split of capsule extending to base; loculicidal split extending ½-way to base. Seeds ellipsoid, pale brown, 1.0-1.3 × 0.6-0.7 mm.


November - January

Flower Colours



December - April

Propagation Technique

Difficult. Best grown in a rock garden or alpine house in a sunny position with a cool root run.


Not Threatened

Chromosome No.

2n = 84

Endemic Taxon


Endemic Genus


Endemic Family


Where To Buy

Not Commercially Available


Fact Sheet by P.J. de Lange (5 October 2006). Description adapted from Garnock-Jones and Lloyd (2003).

References and further reading

Garnock-Jones, P.J.; Lloyd, D.G. 2003: A taxonomic revision of Parahebe (Plantaginaceae) in New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Botany 42: 181-232

This page last updated on 4 Apr 2016