Hebe vernicosa var. canterburiensis (J.B.Armstr.) Cockayne et Allan, Hebe canterburiensis (J.B.Armstr.) L.B.Moore
Vascular – Native
Trees & Shrubs - Dicotyledons
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.
2n = 40
Current conservation status
The conservation 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). 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.
2012 | Not Threatened
Previous conservation statuses
2009 | Not Threatened
2004 | Not Threatened
Low growing shrub with scattered erect branches bearing pairs of oval pointed leaves mainly in northern South Island mountains. Leaves hard, 8-15mm long by 3.5-6.5mm wide, with tiny hairs on margin (lens needed). Leaf bud with narrow pointed gap between leaves at base. Flowers white, in spike to 3cm long.
North and South Island - Southern North Island (Tararua Range near Mt Holdsworth); South Island mountains, mostly on or west of the Main Divide (an exception being Mt Riley, Richmond Range, Marlborough), from North-West Nelson to Arthur’s Pass, with apparent southern disjunctions to south Westland and possibly to Southland.
Beech forest at or close to tree-line, and in subalpine grassland and shrubland.
Openly branched, spreading low shrub to 1 m tall. Branches spreading or decumbent or ascending; branchlets green (with dark bands at nodes) or red-brown or brown, puberulent, hairs uniform (usually) or bifarious (rarely); internodes (1-) 2-6 (-7.5) mm; leaf decurrencies obscure, or evident and extended for length of internode. Leaf bud distinct; sinus narrow and acute, or broad and acute. Leaves subdistichous, erecto-patent or patent; lamina elliptic or ovate or obovate, rigid, concave, 8-15 (-18.5) x (3.2-) 3.5-6.5 (-7.8) mm; apex subacute or obtuse; base cuneate (usually) or truncate; margin sometimes cartilaginous, ciliolate to puberulent (almost always some hairs) or rarely glabrous; upper surface green, glossy (usually) or dull, with few or without evident stomata, minutely hairy along midrib (especially toward base); lower surface green, usually dull; petiole 1-2.5 (-3) mm. Juvenile leaves entire, minutely ciliolate and midrib minutely puberulent above. Inflorescences with 5-12 flowers, lateral, unbranched, 1-3 cm; peduncle 0.2-1 cm; rachis 1-2 (-2.5) cm. Bracts alternate or opposite and decussate below and becoming alternate above, ovate or elliptic or deltoid, obtuse to acute. Flowers hermaphrodite. Pedicels (0-) 0.3-3 (-4) mm. Calyx 2-4.1 mm; lobes ovate (mostly) or deltoid or elliptic, subacute or obtuse or acute (rarely). Corolla tube glabrous, 1.4-3.5 x 1-1.5 (-2) mm, contracted at base, longer than or equalling calyx; lobes white at anthesis, ovate or obovate, obtuse or subacute, suberect to recurved, longer than corolla tube. Stamen filaments remaining erect or slightly diverging with age, 3-5 mm; anthers purple or magenta, (0.85-) 1-1.5 (-1.65) mm. Ovary 1.1-1.8 mm; ovules 13-22 per locule, in 1-3 layers; style (3.5-) 4-7.2 mm. Capsules subacute or acute, (2.6-) 3-4.9 x 2.1-3.8 mm, loculicidal split extending up to ½-way to base. Seeds flattened (sometimes strongly), broad ellipsoid to discoid, more or less weakly winged, brown, 1.3-1.7 x 1-1.4 mm, micropylar rim 0.2-0.5 mm
Most similar to V. vernicosa, with which it co-occurs on the mountains of Nelson. Specimens with flowers or fruits are readily separated, but sterile specimens may be difficult to identify. V. canterburiensis differs by having: corolla tubes equal to or longer than calyces; calyces 2-4.1 mm long; usually shorter inflorescences of 1-3 cm; and magenta or purple anthers. It has, in comparison to V. vernicosa, a wider ecological range, occurring not only in or at the margins of beech forest (especially close to the tree-line), but also more widely in open habitats of the subalpine and penalpine zones.
(October-) November-January (-April)
(November-) December-April (-October)
Seeds are wind dispersed (Thorsen et al., 2009).
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’.
canterburiensis: (-ensis = an adjectival suffix implying origin or place), implies that the species occurs in Canterbury, which, when the name was first published (Armstrong 1879), was the extent of its known distribution.
The three disjunct, southernmost distribution records are each represented only by single collections. The southernmost of these, based on a specimen labelled “The Hump, Fiord[land] Co[unty]”, J.C. Smith, (undated), WELT 5358, in particular, requires confirmation.
Description adapted by M. Ward from Bayly & Kellow (2006).
References and further reading
Armstrong, J.B. 1879 Descriptions of some new native plants. New Zealand Country Journal 3: 56-7.
Bayly, M.J., Kellow, A.V. 2006 An illustrated guide to New Zealand Hebes. Wellington, N.Z.: Te Papa press pg. 228.
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