Hebe diosmifolia (A.Cunn.) Cockayne et Allan, nom. superf., nom. illeg., Veronica menziesii Benth, Hebe menziesii (Benth) Cockayne et Allan, Veronica trisepala Colenso, Veronica diosmifolia var. trisepala (Colenso) Kirk, Hebe diosmifolia var. trisepala (Colenso) A.Wall, Hebe diosmifolia var. vernalis Carse, Hebe diosmifolia (A.Cunn.) Andersen
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, 80
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 | Not Threatened
Previous conservation statuses
2012 | Not Threatened
2009 | Not Threatened
2004 | Not Threatened
Bushy shrub bearing pairs of narrow leaves that have several notches in the margin inhabiting lowland areas north from Auckland. Leaves 8-20mm long by 3-6mm wide. Leaf with obvious narrow gap between leaves at base. Flower spike bushy, to 6cm long, usually with some branches.
North Island - Northern North Island, from Cape Reinga to Woodhill Forest.
Lowland scrub, and at forest margins, often in near-coastal situations or near riverbanks.
Bushy shrub (usually) or small tree (according to herbarium notes) to 2.5 (-6) m tall. Branches erect or spreading, old stems light brown to grey; branchlets green, puberulent, hairs usually uniform or sometimes tending bifarious; internodes (0.5-) 1-9 (-16) mm; leaf decurrencies evident. Leaf bud distinct; sinus narrow to broad, acute. Leaves subdistichous, patent; lamina narrowly oblong-elliptic or oblong or linear-lanceolate, rigid, flat or slightly concave, (3-) 8-20 (-30) x (2-) 3-6 mm; apex obtuse to acute or somewhat acuminate; margin ciliate (with eglandular and/or glandular hairs) and often minutely papillate, shallowly toothed (usually) or entire; upper surface green, dull, without evident stomata (usually) or with few stomata, hairy along midrib (usually) or glabrous (rarely); lower surface light green; petiole (0.3-) 1-4 mm, almost always hairy above and usually hairy along margins. Inflorescences with (4-) 10-54 flowers, lateral, with three or more branches (almost always) or unbranched (rarely, and never all inflorescences on a plant). (1-) 1.5-3.5 (-5.5) cm; peduncle (0.3-) 0.4-1.8 (-2.3) cm; rachis (0.4-) 1-2-3.1 cm. Bracts opposite and decussate or subopposite to alternate, ovate or lanceolate, subacute or acute. Flower, hermaphrodite. Pedicels longer than or equal to bracts, 1.5-4.2 mm. Calyx: 1.5-2.6 mm, 3-4 (-5 )-lobed (5th lobe small, posterior), with anterior lobes free for most of their length or united between 1/3 and all the way to apex; lobes ovate to deltoid or elliptic, subacute to obtuse or emarginate (fused anterior lobes), usually with mixed glandular and eglandular cilia. Corolla tube glabrous, 2-2.5 x 1.5-2 mm, funnelform, longer than (usually) or equalling calyx; lobes pinkish-mauve or blue or white at anthesis, ovate to deltoid, subacute, patent, longer than corolla tube; corolla throat while or mauve. Stamen filaments 4.5-6 mm; anthers mauve or pink or buff, 1.2-1.7 mm. Ovary 0.8-1.1 mm; ovules approximately 9-11 per locule; style 4-8 mm. Capsules acute or subacute, 3.5-5.4 x (1.8-) 2.3-3.7 mm, loculicidal split extending 1/4-½-way to base. Seeds strongly flattened, broad ovoid or obovoid to discoid, not winged to only weakly winged, straw-yellow, 1.2-2 x 0.9-1.3 mm, micropylar rim 0.2-0.6 mm.
A distinctive but variable species that is widely cultivated. It most closely resembles V. subfulvida, from which it is geographically separated and can be distinguished by having anterior calyx lobes that are partly or wholly fused (at least on some flowers on all specimens). The leaves are often minutely toothed and, when present, these teeth also distinguish specimens from V. subfulvida. Both of these features, together with the size and colour of the leaves, acute leaf bud sinus, and branched inflorescences. readily distinguish the species from all others of northern New Zealand.
(August-) September-January (-July)
(September-) October-May (-August)
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’.
Both diploid and tetraploid populations exist, and there is marked variation in flowering time, habit, shape and size of leaves, number and size of marginal incisions on leaves, the degree of inflorescence branching, pedicel length (affecting the general appearance of inflorescences) and the degree of fusion of anterior calyx lobes. Two segregate varieties have been proposed (Kirk 1896; Carse 1929), and some authors (e.g. Druce 1980; Eagle 1982) suggest the current circumscription potentially includes two distinct species. but the results of a detailed morphological and cytological study (Newman 1988; Murray el al. 1989) do not support any of these proposals. Plants from more northern localities tend to flower later (December-January) than those from southern localities (September-October), even in cultivation under uniform conditions. The known tetraploids are also all from northern populations. There are, however, populations with intermediate flowering times, some populations with anomalous flowering times (e.g. the southernmost population, at least sometimes, flowers in February), and there is geographic overlap in the distribution of chromosome races. Variation in other characters shows no consistent patterns, is not well correlated with flowering time or chromosome number and provides no clear grounds for the recognition of segregate taxa.
Colenso (1883) suggested that the species occurs in the Kaweka Range, Hawke’s Bay, based on a collection attributed to Augustus Hamilton. This is an unlikely locality for the species, and it is not included on the distribution map (Bayly 2006), (also see comments by Moore, in Allan 1961).
Description adapted by M. Ward from Bayly & Kellow (2006).
References and further reading
Allan, H. H. 1961. Flora of New Zealand. Volume 1.Wellington: Government Printer.
Bayly, M.J., Kellow, A.V. 2006. An illustrated guide to New Zealand Hebes. Wellington, N.Z.: Te Papa press pg. 252.
Carse, H. 1929. Botanical notes and new varieties. Transactions and Proceedings of the New Zealand Institute60:305-7.
Colenso, W. 1883. Descriptions of a few new indigenous plants. Transactions and Proceedings of the New Zealand Institute 15: 320-39.
Druce, A. P. I980. Trees, shrubs, and Lianes of New Zealand (including wild hybrids). Unpublished checklist held at Landcare Research, Lincoln, New Zealand. (Copy also held in the library of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Wellington.)
Eagle, A. 1982. Eagle’s Trees and Shrubs of New Zealand.2nd series. Auckland: Collins.
Kirk. T. 1896. Notes on certain Veronicas, and descriptions of new species. Transactions and Proceedings of the New Zealand Institute 28: 515- 31.
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