Veronica scrupea


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'.

Common Name(s)

Waiautoa sun hebe

Current Conservation Status

2012 - At Risk - Declining

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 - At Risk - Declining
2004 - Serious Decline


2012 - DP, RR
2009 - DP, RR


Veronica scrupea Garn.-Jones



Brief Description

Rare low growing reddish shrub bearing clusters of pinkish flowers inhabiting two sites in the Kaikoura mountains. Leaves folded to give a boat-shaped appearance, margins toothed. Flowers in a cluster 1-2cm long at tips of twigs. Fruit a dry capsule.

Flora Category

Vascular - Native

Structural Class

Dicotyledonous Trees & Shrubs


Heliohebe acuta Garn.-Jones


South Island: Seaward and Inland Kaikoura Ranges only.


Largely confined to bare eroding ribs of black, excessively shattered greywacke (argillite).


Small shrub, 50-200mm tall. Branchlets upright, red-brown to grey, with thick corky bark. Leaves narrow, leathery and shiny, rigid, 5-15mm long, 2-6mm wide, sides of leaves usually folded upwards to give a boat-shaped appearance; upper surface green to bronze-green and shiny, undersurface very pale, dull, with numerous pores. Leaf margins red with shallow, rounded or sharp teeth. Flower head 1-2cm long, at end of branch (with 30-70 flowers), 5-8mm diameter, bright pink at first, mauve after pollination; throat pink, pale yellow anthers. Seed capsule dark brown, swollen and smooth, 2-2.5mm long, 1-1.5mm wide. Capsules splitting open to one third when ripe.

Similar Taxa

Veronica raoulii, V. pentasepala are superficially similar. From these V. scrupea differs by having boat-shaped leaves with toothed and reddish margins and no wings on leaf stalks. Veronica raoulii has smaller, pink-mauve to white flowers and broad unfolded leaves. Veronica pentasepala has pink to pale pink flowers and longer, only weakly folded leaves. The latter two species both have narrowly winged leaf stalks.


October to November

Flower Colours

Red / Pink,Violet / Purple



Propagation Technique

Easy from semi hardwood cuttings but difficult to maintain.

Chromosome No.

2n = 42

Endemic Taxon


Endemic Genus


Endemic Family


Where To Buy

Not commercially available but plants are held by several Botanic Gardens and specialist growers.


Fact Sheet Prepared by P.J. de Lange (1 November 2004). Description based on Garnock-Jones (1993)

References and further reading

Garnock-Jones, P.J. 1993: Heliohebe (Scrophulariaceae Veroniceae), a new genus segregated from Hebe. New Zealand Journal of Botany 31: 323-339.

Garnock-Jones, P.J.; Albach, D.; Briggs, B.G. 2007: Botanical names in Southern Hemisphere Veronica (Plantaginaceae): sect. Detzneria, ect. Hebe, and sect. Labiatoides. Taxon 56: 571-582


This page last updated on 15 Sep 2015