Veronica lavaudiana


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)

Banks Peninsula 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 - RR
2009 - OL


Veronica lavaudiana Raoul



Brief Description

Bushy small shrub bearing pairs of fleshy red-edged rounded toothed leaves inhabiting Banks Peninsula. Twigs fuzzy (lens needed). Leaves 12-25mm long on a short stalk. Flowers pinkish, in rounded clusters to 4cm long, on stalks above leaves.

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 Trees & Shrubs


Hebe lavaudiana (Raoul) Cockayne et Allan; Heliohebe lavaudiana (Raoul) Garn.-Jones; Parahebe lavaudiana (Hook.f.) Heads


Endemic. Known only from Banks Peninsula.


A species of open rock outcrops and cliff faces, often growing in the most exposed sunny habitats.


Spreading, low shrub 100-300 mm tall. Branches prostrate, trailing, branchlets brown or grey. Leaves spreading to recurved, (7-)12-25(-30) x (6-)8-17 mm, dark green, somewhat glaucous, obovate to orbicular, leathery, margins with 3-10 crenations. Petiole narrowly winged, 2-5(-8) mm. Inflorescence 20-40 mm long, (50-)100-150-flowered Calyx 4-5 mm, lobes 5, lanceolate to deltoid, acuminate, glandular ciliate. Corolla 11-13 mm, pink at anthesis, white after pollination, throat white or pink, corolla tube 1.5-2 mm long, 1.7-2 mm wide, slightly expanded, Lateral corolla lobes elliptic, subacute, suberect to spreading, posterior corolla lobe longer than tube, rhomboid, subacute, erect. Stamen filaments white, inserted at base of corolla tube, 2.5 mm long. Anthers yellow. Seeds pale brown, (1.7-)2-2.5 x 0.7-1 mm. Chromosome Number 2n = 42

Similar Taxa

Distinguished from the other Veronica species by the round, dull green leaves, long glandular inflorescence hairs, compact inflorescences, pink flower buds, and large white flowers.


October to November (-January)

Flower Colours

Red / Pink,White


January (-March)

Propagation Technique

Easily grown from fresh seed and semi-hardwood cuttings. Requires a free draining, sunny spot with reasonably air movement. Prone to fungal diseases and dislikes high humidity.


Threatened by gorse (Ulex europaeus) with overshadowed plants and other weeds which are invading the open rock outcrop habitat this species requires.

Chromosome No.

2n = 42

Endemic Taxon


Endemic Genus


Endemic Family


Where To Buy

Periodically offered by most commercial garden centres. Plants are held by several specialist native plant nurseries.


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