Veronica simulans


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)


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 simulans Garn.-Jones



Brief Description

Bushy shrub bearing pairs of oval leaves, paler underneath, that often have small notches in the margin and have small hairs on the upper surface of the central vein inhabiting mountains of northern South Island. Leaf bud with small gap between base of 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 crenulata Bayly, Kellow et de Lange


Endemic. New Zealand: South Island (north-west Nelson south east to north Canterbury in and about the main divide)


Subalpine shrubland and tussock grassland, usually in shallow mountain soils or on rock strewn ground, rubble slopes and on rock outcrops.


Shrub or spreading low shrub, to 1 m tall. Branches erect, or ascending; old stems dark brown (mostly), or grey; youngest branchlets brown, or red-brown, or green; internodes 1.0–7.5 mm long; stem pubescence bifarious, eglandular. Leaf bud about as long as mature leaves; sinus broad and acute. Leaves free at base, erecto-patent to patent; lamina obovate, oblanceolate or elliptic, coriaceous, concave, 6.4–19.6 × 3.5–7.9 mm; apex obtuse to acute; base cuneate; evident venation in fresh leaves consisting of midrib only; midrib thickened beneath and depressed to grooved above; margin usually slightly thickened, rounded (or ± squarish), minutely papillate and sometimes glandular-ciliate, entire or crenate (may vary on one plant); upper surface green, slightly glossy or dull, with many or with few or without evident stomata, hairy along midrib; lower surface glaucous or glaucescent or light green, dull, glabrous. Petiole 1.0–2.5 mm long, hairy above (along midrib). Inflorescences with 4–16 flowers, lateral, racemose and unbranched (mostly) or sometimes racemose and compound with 1–2 branches at base, 9–31 mm long, longer than (mostly) or about equal to subtending leaves; peduncle 1–65 mm long, pubescent with a mixture of eglandular and glandular hairs; rachis 4–21 mm long, pubescent with a mixture of eglandular and glandular hairs; bracts opposite and decussate, usually free or connate (only sometimes, and then only connected by a very narrow ridge), subacute or acute or acuminate, ciliolate with both glandular and eglandular hairs, lanceolate or deltoid; pedicels < or << than bracts or absent, pubescent with both eglandular and glandular hairs, suberect or erectopatent at anthesis, suberect or erecto-patent at fruiting, 0.5–1.5 mm long. Flowers on individual plants hermaphrodite or female. Calyx 2–3 mm long, 4-lobed, divisions subequally deep; lobes lanceolate to elliptic, obtuse or subacute, with mixed glandular and eglandular cilia, margins narrowly membranous. Corolla white at anthesis; tube glabrous, 1.8–3.0 × 2.2–2.5 mm, broadly funnelform and contracted at base, more or less equalling calyx; tube of female flowers 1.4–1.6 ×. 1.5–1.8 mm, contracted at base, < or = calyx; lobes longer than corolla tube, glabrous; ovate, elliptic ,obtuse; corolla throat white. Stamen filaments white, diverging after anthesis, straight at apex in bud, up to 6.5 mm long; anthers obtuse or apiculate, magenta, c.2.0–2.2 mm long; sterile anthers c.0.7–1.1 mm long. Nectarial disc glabrous. Ovary ovoid, glabrous, 1.5–1.7 mm long; style 5–7 mm long, glabrous, white; stigma subcapitate or capitate, white, yellow or green at anthesis. Capsules subacute or obtuse, pale brown, 3.2–4.0 × 2.2–3.2 mm, glabrous, loculicidal split extending ¼–½ way to base.

Similar Taxa

Veronica simulans is most similar to V. cryptomorpha and V. cockayneana from which V. simulans is mostly distinguished by the presence of small teeth on the margins of the leaves (though some southerly populations lack these). When toothed leaves are present, these will readily distinguish plants of Veronica simulans from V. cockayneana. Veronica simulans is further distinguished by its chromosome number (2n = 80, 2n = 40 in V. cryptomorpha and 2n = 120 in V. cockayneana)


November - January

Flower Colours

Violet / Purple,White


December - May

Propagation Technique

Easily grown from cuttings and fresh seed. An attractive shrub for a rock garden. Dislikes humidity.


Not Threatened

Chromosome No.

2n = 80

Endemic Taxon


Endemic Genus


Endemic Family


Life Cycle and Dispersal

Seeds are wind dispersed (Thorsen et al., 2009).

Where To Buy

Not Commercially Available



Fact Sheet Prepared by P.J. de Lange (1 November 2009). Description based on Bayly et al. (2002) and Bayly & Kellow (2006)

References and further reading

Bayly M.; Kellow A. 2006: An Illustrated Guide to New Zealand Hebes.Te Papa Press: Wellington

Bayly, M.J.; Kellow, A.V.; Mitchell, K.A.; Markham, K.R.; de Lange, P.J.; Harper, G.E.; Garnock-Jones, P.J.; Brownsey, P.J. 2002: Descriptions and Flavonoid Chemistry of New Taxa in Hebe sect. Subdistichae (Scrophulariaceae). New Zealand Journal of Botany 40(4): 571-602.

Thorsen, M. J.; Dickinson, K. J. M.; Seddon, P. J. 2009. Seed dispersal systems in the New Zealand flora. Perspectives in Plant Ecology, Evolution and Systematics 11: 285-309

This page last updated on 21 Jun 2016