Veronica trifida


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'.
trifida: divided into three

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 - Not Threatened


2012 - RR, Sp


Veronica trifida Petrie



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 Herbs other than Composites


Parahebe trifida (Petrie) W.R.B.Oliv., Hebejeebie trifida (Petrie) Heads


Endemic. New Zealand: South Island (Central Otago and Southland).


Alpine in seepages and flushes of meltwater below summer snowbanks, and along edges of water races, or in boggy ground.


Subshrub, 50-200 mm tall. Old stems brown or grey. Branches prostrate to ascending. Branchlets brown or purplish. Vegetative internodes 1-5 mm long. Stems uniformly pubescent hairs uniform, retrorse-appressed, eglandular. Leaves decussate or subdistichous, erecto-patent. Lamina oblanceolate or obovate or oblong or elliptic or spathulate or orbicular (rarely), 2-10 × 1-7 mm. Upper surface of leaves green or bronze green, glossy. Under surface of leaves green or bronze green or purple, glossy. Leaf hairs sparse to scattered or absent, along margins and on petiole, uniseriate glandular with globular head. Apex subacute or obtuse or rounded. Base cuneate. Margin minutely papillate, glandular-ciliate, and ciliate (rarely), rarely entire or crenate or serrate or lobed. Marginal teeth or lobes in 0-3 pairs. Petiole 1-2 mm long. Inflorescence of 1-2 flowers, 15-25 mm long at fruiting. Indumentum of peduncle, rachis, and pedicels moderately dense to very dense. Eglandular hairs of inflorescence deflexed (glandular hairs patent), white. Peduncle 2-10 mm long, eglandular-pubescent and glandular-pubescent; hairs all around peduncle. Rachis 20-50 mm long, eglandular-pubescent and glandular-pubescent, hairs all around rachis. Bracts alternate or paired and opposite, subacute or acute, glandular ciliate, glandular pubescent abaxially, and glandular pubescent adaxially (sparse or absent), elliptic or obovate. Bract margins entire. Pedicels suberect at anthesis, straight at fruiting, 0.5-7.0 mm long, eglandular-pubescent and glandular-pubescent; hairs all around pedicel. Flowers: Calyx 4-lobed, 5-8 mm long. Calyx lobes oblanceolate or spathulate, subacute or obtuse. Calyx hairs on both abaxial and adaxial surfaces, mixed eglandular and mostly glandular. Calyx lobe margins entire. Corolla white at anthesis or mauve at anthesis (rarely). Nectar guides absent. Corolla throat yellow. Corolla 15–20 mm diameter Corolla tube 1.5-3.0 mm long, 1.5-2.0 mm wide, glabrous. Corolla lobes glabrous. Posterior corolla lobe elliptic or obovate, obtuse, 8-10 × 4-7 mm. Lateral corolla lobes elliptic or obovate, obtuse, flat, not enfolding stamens, 8-10 × 4-7 mm. Anterior corolla lobe elliptic or obovate, obtuse, 8-10 × 3-6 mm. Stamen filaments white, 3-4 mm long, not narrowed at base. Anthers mauve to purple, 1.0-1.5 mm long. Nectarial disc glabrous. Ovary ellipsoid, acute, glabrous or glandular hairy (sparsely at apex), 2.0-2.5 mm long. Style 3-4 mm long. Stigma 0.3–0.5 mm wide. Capsules strongly flattened, emarginate 4.5-6.0 × 2.5-3.0 mm, glabrous or sparsely hairy. Hairs glandular, if present. Septicidal split of capsule extending to base. Loculicidal split of capsule extending ½ way to base. Seeds strongly flattened, smooth-surfaced, ellipsoid or obovoid, pale brown, 0.5-0.8 × 0.4-0.6 mm

Similar Taxa

Allied to Veronica densiflora, V. birleyi and V. spectabilis, from which V. trifida differs by the glossy bright green, bronze-green or purple tinged rather than dull dark green or purplish leaves.


October - December

Flower Colours

Violet / Purple,White


December - April

Propagation Technique

Difficult. Should not be removed from the wild.


Not Threatened

Chromosome No.

2n = 42

Endemic Taxon


Endemic Genus


Endemic Family


Where To Buy

Not Commercially Available


Fact Sheet by P.J. de Lange (5 October 2006). Description adapted from Garnock-Jones and Lloyd (2003).

References and further reading

Garnock-Jones, P.J.; Lloyd, D.G. 2003: A taxonomic revision of Parahebe (Plantaginaceae) in New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Botany 42: 181-232.

This page last updated on 16 Feb 2016