Veronica rigidula var. sulcata


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
sulcata: From the Latin sulcus 'furrow', meaning grooved

Common Name(s)


Current Conservation Status

2012 - Threatened - Nationally Critical

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 - Threatened - Nationally Critical
2004 - Range Restricted


2012 - CD, RR
2009 - RR, St


Veronica rigidula var. sulcata (Bayly et Kellow) Garn.-Jones



Brief Description

Low bushy shrub bearing pairs of oval leaves inhabiting ultramafic rocks in the Marlborough Sounds. Leaves variable, to 28.2mm long, longer than wide, more or less u-shaped in cross section. Leaf bud with narrow gap at base. Flowers white, on short stalks, in spikes or sprays to 3.2cm long.

Flora Category

Vascular - Native

Structural Class

Dicotyledonous Trees & Shrubs


Hebe rigidula var. sulcata Bayly et Kellow


Endemic. New Zealand: South Island (mainly D'Urville Island but also on Editor Hill and Lookout Peak in the Marlborough Sounds)


A plant of montane habitats where it grows in low scrub and other sparsely vegetated sites on rubble slopes, rock outcrops and in and around boulders along the melange of the mineralised zone leading from D'Urville Island south through the Marlborough Sounds to Mt Dun


Low growing, openly branched, bushy shrub 0.3-0.6 m tall. Branches erect, old stems brown; branchlets green, pubescent, hairs bifarious; internodes 1.0-5.5. mm. Leaf bud distinct, weakly tetragonous in cross-section; sinus narrow and acute. Leaves erect to patent; elliptic or broadly elliptic, coriaceous, sulcate (m-shaped in cross-section), 9.4–28.2 × 3.2–8.7 mm, ratio of leaf length to width 2.5–3.5; 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 < bracts, 0.3–2.0 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

Closely related to Veronica rigidula var. rigidula from which it differs by its weakly tetragonous leaf bud (in cross section); elliptic to broadly elliptic leaves which are distinctly m-shaped in cross-section; and also by the more distinctly pedicellate flowers.


November – February

Flower Colours

Violet / Purple,White


December – October

Propagation Technique

Easily grown from cuttings. Can be rather slow growing. An attractive shrub though rarely flowers as heavily as Veronica rigidula var. rigidula.


A Naturally Uncommon, range-restricted endemic which is known from only three main populations. At none of these it is very common. However, there are no obvious threats.

Chromosome No.

2n = 40

Endemic Taxon


Endemic Genus


Endemic Family


Where To Buy

Not Commercially Available.



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

References and further reading

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

This page last updated on 6 Mar 2016