Hebe gibbsii (Kirk) Cockayne et Allan
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) – 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.
Please note, threat classifications are often suggested by authors when publications fall between NZTCS assessment periods – an interim threat classification status has not been assessed by the NZTCS panel.
- Conservation status of New Zealand indigenous vascular plants, 2017 . 2018. 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. Department of Conservation. Source: NZTCS and licensed by DOC for reuse under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International licence.
2017 | At Risk – Naturally Uncommon | Qualifiers: DP, RR, Sp
Previous conservation statuses
2012 | At Risk – Naturally Uncommon | Qualifiers: DP, RR, Sp
2009 | At Risk – Naturally Uncommon | Qualifiers: DP
2004 | Range Restricted
Low growing sparse shrub with pairs of blue-green oval leaves that have a hairy margin inhabiting the Richmond Mountains. Leaves 9-20mm long by 4-13mm wide, dished, edge sometimes reddish. Flowers white, packed in a spike to 2cm long, on a distinct stalk, clustered at tip of branches.
South Island - Mountains of eastern Nelson and western Marlborough, where it is known with certainty only from Mt Starveall, Ben Nevis, Mt Rintoul and near Mt Patriarch.
Open, rocky areas.
Sparsely branched, spreading low shrub to 0.35 m tall. Branches decumbent; branchlets green to orange-brown, pubescent (with long, multi-celled hairs), hairs bifarious or uniform; internodes (1-) 2-6 (-8) mm; leaf decurrencies evident and extended for length of internode (stem rounded and smooth). Leaf bud distinct; sinus absent. Leaves erect to patent (sometimes recurved with age); lamina ovate or elliptic (sometimes broadly), coriaceous or fleshy, ± concave, 9- 20 x 4-13 mm; apex subacute (mostly) or obtuse or acute; base broadly cuneate or slightly amplexicaul; venation evident on underside of fresh leaves, usually not evident above, sometimes including 2 secondary laterals arising from base; midrib often slightly thickened below or not thickened; margin long ciliate, sometimes tinged red; upper surface glaucous, with many stomata, glabrous or hairy along midrib; lower surface glaucous. Inflorescences with (6-) 11-25 (-30) flowers, lateral, unbranched, 1.5-3.5 cm, longer than or about equal to subtending leaves; peduncle 0.5-2.1 cm; rachis 0.8-2.2 cm. Bracts lowermost pair opposite, then subopposite or alternate above, narrowly deltoid, acute (usually) or subacute, sometimes hairy outside. Flowers, probably hermaphrodite. Pedicels absent or when present always shorter than bracts, 0-1 mm. Calyx approximately 2.5-3.5 mm, with anterior lobes free for most of their length or united to 1/3-2/3-way to apex; lobes mostly narrowly deltoid, acute or subacute, often hairy outside. Corolla tube glabrous, 2.5-4 x 1.5-2 mm, cylindric, longer than or sometimes equalling calyx; lobes white at anthesis, elliptic or ovate, obtuse or subacute, suberect to patent, longer than or equalling corolla tube. Stamen filaments 6-6.5 mm; anthers magenta or dark purple or cream, 2-2.6 mm. Ovary sometimes hairy, approximately 1-1.3 mm; ovules 13-19 per locule, in 1-2 layers; style 6.5- 9.5 mm, sometimes hairy. Capsules acute or subacute, 2.5-4 x 1.6-2 mm, sometimes hairy, loculicidal split extending ¼-½-way to base. Seeds flattened, ovoid-ellipsoid to discoid, ± smooth, brown (sometimes pale), 0.8-1.7 x 0.6-0.9 mm, micropylar rim 0.2-0.5 mm.
Distinguished from other species by its thick glaucous leaves, with margins fringed with long hairs (see also notes under Veronica amplexicaulis).
(October) December - February (March)
January – May (November)
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’.
gibbsii: Named in honor of Frederick G Gibbs (1866-1953)
Notes on cultivated specimens suggest that Veronica gibbsii may also occur on Dun Mountain, a locality also implied by a figure caption (but not the text) provided by Salmon (1992), and on Gordons
Knob, as also suggested by Martin (1932). A further specimen that lacked an original label was associated, prior to mounting, with collections made by F. G. Gibbs on Mt Franklin, Spenser Mountains, 30 Jan 1896. It remains uncertain whether the specimen came from that locality (approximately 50 km south of known localities) or was accidentally mixed with the other Gibbs collections.
A specimen from “Mt ‘Z”; Wairau Valley (on the ridge running northwest from Mt Patriarch) is unusual. It has the stem and leaf characters of Veronica gibbsii, which is common in the area, but differs from other collections in having longer, sometimes branched, inflorescences and some flowers that are conspicuously pedicellate. The specimen might possibly be a hybrid (Veronica divaricata, which has branched inflorescences and pedicellate flowers, is common in this area), or the product of a developmental abnormality.
Description adapted by M. Ward from Bayly & Kellow (2006).
References and further reading
Bayly, M.J., Kellow, A.V. 2006. An illustrated guide to New Zealand Hebes. Wellington, N.Z.: Te Papa press pg. 134
Martin, W. 1932. The Vegetation of Marlborough. Blenheim: (n.p.). Reprinted from the Marlborough Express.
Salmon, J.T. 1992. A Field Guide to the Alpine Plants of New Zealand. 3rd edition. Auckland: Godwit Publishing.
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: Ward, M.D. (Year at time of access): Veronica gibbsii Fact Sheet (content continuously updated). New Zealand Plant Conservation Network. https://www.nzpcn.org.nz/flora/species/veronica-gibbsii/ (Date website was queried)