Hebe bollonsii (Cockayne) Cockayne
Vascular – Native
Trees & Shrubs - Dicotyledons
2n = 40
Current conservation status
The threat classification status of all known New Zealand vascular plant taxa at the rank of species and below were reassessed in 2017 using the New Zealand Threat Classification System (NZTCS) – more information about this can be found on the NZTCS website This report includes a statistical summary and brief notes on changes since 2012 and replaces all previous NZTCS lists for vascular plants. Authors: By Peter J. de Lange, Jeremy R. Rolfe, John W. Barkla, Shannel P. Courtney, Paul D. Champion, Leon R. Perrie, Sarah M. Beadel, Kerry A. Ford, Ilse Breitwieser, Ines Schönberger, Rowan Hindmarsh-Walls, Peter B. Heenan and Kate Ladley. Please note, threat classifications are often suggested by authors when publications fall between NZTCS assessment periods – a suggested threat classification status has not been assessed by the NZTCS panel.
2017 | At Risk – Naturally Uncommon | Qualifiers: RR
Previous conservation statuses
2012 | At Risk – Naturally Uncommon | Qualifiers: RR
2009 | At Risk – Naturally Uncommon
2004 | Range Restricted
Bushy shrub bearing pairs of dark green oval pointed leaves inhabiting coastal sites in eastern Northland and offshore islands. Leaves 20-95mm long by 15-31mm wide. Leaf bud with gap at base. Twigs green. Flowers tinged pink becoming white with age, in short spikes, to 15cm long.
Endemic. North Island, outer Hauraki Gulf where it is mainly found on the Poor Knights and Hen & Chicken Island groups. Also local on rock stacks and headlands from Tutukaka north to about Mimiwhangata.
Petrel scrub, low wind shorn shrubland and open coastal forest or on rock stacks. On the Poor Knights and Hen & Chicken Islands it is often in low wind shorn petrel scrub on exposed shore platforms or on slip scars or in wind damaged coastal forest. Frequent on rocky headlands and sometimes on rock stacks.
Heavily branched, rather bushy shrub 2 x 3 m. Branches numerous, erect, old stems grey to grey-brown; branchlets green, minutely puberulent, glabrate; internodes 1-45 mm; leaf decurrencies evident. Leaf bud with sinus. Leaves erect to patent; lamina 14-130 x 8-42 mm, upper surface dark green, usually glossy, hairy along midrib, undersides light green dull or glossy oblanceolate, obovate to oblong or elliptic, coriaceous, more or less flat, apex shortly apiculate, subacute to obtuse, secondary veination evident in young leaves; margin narrowly cartilaginous, glabrous or minutely ciliate. Inflorescences lateral, unbranched racemes, 35-150 mm long, bearing 24-125 flowers; peduncle 6-30 mm, rachis 27-126 mm. Bracts alternate or lowermost pair opposite, then subopposite or alternate above, lanceolate to linear-lanceolate or ovate, acute. Flowers on pedicels 1-7 mm long. Calyx 2.5-5.5 mm; lobes lanceolate, acute, rarely sparsely hairy on the outside. Corolla tube 3-5 x 1.9-2.5 mm, funnelform, hairy inside and often outside (near where lobes diverge); lobes equalling or longer than corolla tube, tinged very pale mauve at anthesis soon fading to white, lanceolate or narrowly elliptic, subacute, anterior lobe obtuse; patent to recurved. Stamen filaments 3.8-7 mm; anthers 2-2.7 mm, mauve or purple. Ovary 0.6-1.2 mm; style 5.5-8.5 mm. Capsules 2.5-5.5 x 1.8-4 mm. subacute. Seeds 1-1.7 x 0.9-1.3 mm, straw-yellow, broad-ellipsoid, more or less winged, flattened.
Most similar to Veronica pubescens subsp. sejuncta from which it differs by its glabrescent to minutely puberulent stems and foliage, consistent lack of a leaf bud sinus, usually much broader leaves, and uniformly lighter coloured flowers - V. bollonsii never has the deep violet or dark mauve flower colours occasionally seen in V. pubescens subsp. sejuncta.
September - February (often sporadic throughout the year)
Present throughout the year
Seeds are wind dispersed (Thorsen et al., 2009).
Easy from semi-hard wood cuttings and fresh seed. A spectacular shrub which deserves to be more widely grown. It is extremely floriferous. Plants respond well to a very hard pruning immediately after flowering - cut back by at least a third - and do best in full sun, in a free draining, fertile soil.
A naturally uncommon, range restricted species virtually confined to offshore islands where it is under no obvious threats.
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’.
bollonsii: Named in honour of Captain John P. Bollon (1862-1929)
It has been reported from Ponui Island in the southern Hauraki Gulf e.g., Metcalf (2006). That record is erroneous being based on a plant collected wild from Ponui by Scott Lowry in 1993 and first cultivated at Percy Reserve, Petone in that year before general distribution. That plant, which is vegetatively somewhat similar to Veronica bollonsii (though it has a leaf bud sinus) is a hybrid cultivar involving H. speciosa and possibly V. bollonsii which was planted on that island as part of a revegetation project (David Chamberlin pers. comm., 2005). It is is not Veronica bollonsii.
Fact sheet prepared for NZPCN by P.J. de Lange 1 October 2006. Description based on Bayly & Kellow (2006).
References and further reading
Bayly, M.J.; Kellow, A.V. Hebes, identification, classification and biology. Wellington, Te Papa Press
Metcalf, L. 2006. Hebes - a guide to species, hybrids, and allied genera. Portland, Oregon, Timber Press.
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
NZPCN Fact Sheet citation
Please cite as: de Lange, P.J. (Year at time of access): Veronica bollonsii Fact Sheet (content continuously updated). New Zealand Plant Conservation Network. https://www.nzpcn.org.nz/flora/species/veronica-bollonsii/ (Date website was queried)