Veronica rigidula var. rigidula


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'.
rigidula: engraved

Common Name(s)


Current Conservation Status

2012 - 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

2009 - At Risk - Naturally Uncommon
2004 - Range Restricted


2012 - Sp


Veronica rigidula Cheeseman var. rigidula



Brief Description

Low bushy shrub bearing pairs of narrow leaves inhabiting the Richmond Range area. Leaves variable, to 31.4mm long, narrow, u-shaped in cross section. Leaf bud with narrow gap between leaves at base. Flowers white, on very short stalks, in spikes or sprays to 3.2cm long.

Flora Category

Vascular - Native

Structural Class

Dicotyledonous Trees & Shrubs


Hebe rigidula (Cheeseman) Cockayne et Allan var. rigidula


Endemic. New Zealand: South Island (mostly Richmond and Bryant Ranges)


Lowland to montane within sparsely vegetated sites on rock outcrops, crevices, ledges, rubble slopes, boulder falls, or within ravines and river gorges


Low growing, openly branched, bushy shrub 0.3-0.6 m tall. Branches erect or ascending, old stems brown; branchlets green, pubescent, hairs bifarious; internodes 1.0-5.5. mm. Leaf bud distinct, terete to weakly tetragonous in cross-section; sinus narrow and acute. Leaves erect to patent; lamina usually narrowly elliptic, elliptic oblanceolate, thin to coriaceous, upper surface concave, 7.7-31.4 × 2.1-7.4 mm, ratio of leaf length to width (2.7-4.8); apex acute or subacute; margin minutely papillate; upper surface green, dull or slightly glossy, glabrous or minutely hairy along midrib (especially toward base); lower surface glaucous or glaucescent; petiole 2.0-3.2 mm long, glabrous or minutely hairy along margins (especially on youngest leaves) and /or rarely hairy above. Inflorescences with 10-40 flowers, lateral, usually tripartite or rarely with more than 3 branches or unbranched, 14-32 mm long, > or < subtending leaves; peduncle 3-12 mm; rachis 7-28 mm. Bracts opposite and decussate, or opposite and decussate below and becoming alternate above, ovate or deltoid, obtuse or subacute. Flowers hermaphrodite. Pedicels absent or up to 0.8 mm long. Calyx 1.5-2.5 mm; lobes elliptic, oblong or ovate, obtuse or subacute, with mixed glandular/eglandular cilia or wholly eglandular. Corolla tube glabrous 2.5-4.0 × 1.7 mm, cylindric, > calyx; lobes white or pale mauve at anthesis, elliptic, ovate or oblong, obtuse rarely emarginate, suberect to recurved, < corolla tube. Stamen filaments 3-4 mm long; anthers buff or faintly tinged pink, 1.7-2.0 mm. Ovary 0.9-1.0 mm; style 5-7 mm. Capsules obtuse or subacute, 2.4-4.0 × 1.8-2.5 mm, loculicidal split extending ¼-½ way to base. Seeds flattened, ellipsoid, discoid or irregular, brown to pale brown, 0.8-1.6 × 0.7-1.1 mm.

Similar Taxa

Veronica rigidula var. rigidula differs from var. sulcata by the circular (in cross-section) rather than weakly tetragonous leaf bud, leaves which are distinctly concave above rather than m-shaped in cross-section, and mostly narrowly elliptic.


November – February

Flower Colours

Violet / Purple,White


December – October

Propagation Technique

Easily grown from cuttings and fresh seed. A very attractive freely flowering shrub that deserves to be more widely cultivated


A Naturally Uncommon, range-restricted though sparsely distributed species. Though as a rule never that common at any particular site, most populations occur on protected land and there are no known threats.

Chromosome No.

2n = 40

Endemic Taxon


Endemic Genus


Endemic Family


Life Cycle and Dispersal

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

Where To Buy

Occasionally available from specialist native plant nurseries


Fact Sheet by Peter J. de Lange (1 August 2006). Description modified from Bayley and Kelllow (2006)

References and further reading

Bayly, M.; Kellow, A. 2006: An illustrated guide to New Zealand Hebes. Te Papa Press, Wellington.\

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 6 Mar 2016