Veronica spathulata


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'.
spathulata: shaped like a flattened spoon (leaves)

Common Name(s)


Current Conservation Status

2012 - Not Threatened

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

2009 - Not Threatened
2004 - Not Threatened


Veronica spathulata Benth.



Flora Category

Vascular - Native

NVS Species Code


The National Vegetation Survey (NVS) Databank is a physical archive and electronic databank containing records of over 94,000 vegetation survey plots - including data from over 19,000 permanent plots. NVS maintains a standard set of species code abbreviations that correspond to standard scientific plant names from the Ngä Tipu o Aotearoa - New Zealand Plants database.

Structural Class

Dicotyledonous Herbs other than Composites


Parahebe spathulata (Benth.) W.R.B.Oliv.


Endemic. New Zealand: North Island (Volcanic Plateau, Kaimanawa, Kaweka, and Ruahine Ranges).


Alpine. Inhabiting lava and scoria fields, screes, and skeletal soil developed on steep, exposed ridges and fellfield


Subshrub to 100 mm tall. Stems grey. Branches prostrate to erect. Branchlets brown or red-brown. Vegetative internodes 2-35 mm long. Stem pubescence uniform, eglandular pubescent. Leaves erecto-patent and recurved. Lamina orbicular to rhomboid, 2.0-12.0 × 1.5-12.0 mm. Upper surface of leaves dull green or dark green, under surface of leaves dull green, pale green or purple. Leaf hairs sparse to dense, rarely absent, eglandular. Apex subacute, obtuse, rounded or truncate. Base truncate. Margin glabrous or ciliate-pubescent, crenate or lobed. Marginal teeth or lobes in 1-4 pairs. Petiole 1-11 mm long. Inflorescence racemose, 2-8-flowered, unbranched, 7-45 mm long at fruiting. Indumentum of peduncle, rachis, and pedicels dense. Eglandular hairs, of inflorescence white, erecto-patent to antrorse, white. Peduncle 5-30 mm long, eglandular-pubescent. Rachis 2-15 mm long, eglandular-pubescent. Bracts paired and opposite, spathulate, obtuse or subacute, eglandular-hairy above and eglandular-hairy below. Bract margins shallowly to deeply lobed. Pedicels 1-4 mm long, eglandular-pubescent. Flowers glabrous, white or mauve at anthesis, nectar guides absent. Calyx 4-lobed, 3-6 mm long, lobes oblanceolate or obovate, acute to subacute, margins entire or toothed; calyx hairs eglandular, on margins only or on both surfaces. Corolla (5–)6–8 mm diameter, tube 3.0-4.0 × 1.5-2.0 mm wide; lobes, tube and throat. Posterior corolla lobe circular, obtuse, 3.5-4.0 × 3.5-4.0 mm. Lateral corolla lobes circular or broadly elliptic, obtuse, flat, not enfolding stamens, 3.0-4.0 × 3.5–4.5 mm. Anterior corolla lobe elliptic, oblong, obtuse, 3.5-4.0 × 1.5-2.0 mm. Stamen filaments white, 2-3 mm long. Anthers pink or mauve, 0.8-1.0 mm long. Nectarial disc glabrous. Ovary globose, obtuse or emarginate, eglandular hairy, 1.0-1.5 mm long. Style 1.5-2.0 mm long. Capsules strongly flattened, emarginate to didymous, 3.0-4.0 × 3.0-4.5 mm, 1.5-2.0 mm thick, hairy. Hairs eglandular. Septicidal split of capsule extending to base. Loculicidal split of capsule extending ½-way to base. Seeds ellipsoid or discoid, brown, 1.0-1.5 × 1.0-1.5 mm

Similar Taxa

Veronica spathulata is allied to V. cheesemanii from which it differs by being endemic to the North Island, by the entire or bluntly toothed rather than pinnatifid calyx lobes; 2-8-flowered rather than usually solitary (rarely 2-3-flowered) inflorescences; corolla tube 3.0-4.0 cf. 3.5–7.0 mm long (equal to than rather than longer than the lobes); and by the capsule dehiscence being septicidal and loculicidal rather than exclusively loculicidal.


November - January

Flower Colours

Violet / Purple,White


December - April

Propagation Technique

Easily grown from cuttings, rooted pieces and fresh seed. However dislikes drought and humidity. Best in an alpine house


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 16 Feb 2016