Veronica macrocalyx var. humilis
Hebe haastii var. humilis (G.Simpson) L.B.Moore, Leonohebe haastii var. humilis (G.Simpson) Heads, Hebe macrocalyx var. humilis G.Simpson
Vascular – Native
Trees & Shrubs - Dicotyledons
2n = 42
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 erect twigs bearing pairs of small curved green thick fleshy rounded leaves that hardly narrow to a broad leaf stalk inhabiting northern South Island mountains. Leaves to 11 mm long, about as wide as long. Flowers white , almost hidden by long narrow teeth of base.
Mountains of Nelson and Marlborough, South Island, south from the Anatoki Range to the Spenser Mountains, and Mount Richmond.
It grows in rocky alpine herb fields, on rock debris or scree.
Subshrub to 20cm high. Branches prostrate to decumbent, old stems brown; branchlets green to purplish, glabrous or puberulent, hairs bifarious; internodes 1-5.5 (-10.9) mm; leaves not readily abscising, persisting on stem, or decaying leaving basal parts attached. Leaf bud tightly surrounded by recently diverged leaves. Leaves often slightly keeled, decussate to slightly subdistichous, connate, erecto-patent to patent; lamina obovate to spathulate or elliptic to ovate or rhomboid, fleshy, concave, 5.5-11 (-13.5) x (2-) 3-7.5 (-8.5) mm; apex obtuse; midrib slightly thickened below and slightly depressed to grooved above; not cartilaginous, not thickened, glabrous or glandular-ciliate and sometimes minutely papillate, usually tinged red, entire or rarely shallowly toothed; upper surface green, dull to glossy, with many stomata, glabrous; lower surface green, dull to glossy; petiole (1-) 2-5 mm, hairy along margins. Inflorescences with 2-12 flowers per spike, 3-12 spikes per flowering head, terminal and lateral (arranged, often laxly, in a flowering head), unbranched, (0.5-) 1-3 (-4.3) cm (total length of flowering head), spikes about equal to subtending leaves (flowering head usually longer than subtending leaves); peduncle approximately 0.1 cm, hairy or glabrous; rachis 0.3-0.4 (-0.6) cm (longest when growing in shade). Bracts lowermost pair opposite, then subopposite or alternate above, connate or rarely free, lanceolate to linear or sometimes deltoid, subacute (usually) or obtuse, margins glabrous or hairy. Flowers hermaphrodite or female (on different plants). Pedicels absent. Calyx 4.5-7 mm, 4-5-lobed (5th lobe small, posterior); lobes red at apex, oblong to linear, or deltoid (sometimes, in Nelson populations only), subacute to obtuse or occasionally acute, with minute mixed glandular and eglandular cilia (usually) or glabrous. Corolla tube glabrous; tube of hermaphrodite flowers (2.5-) 4-6 x 1.5-2.5 mm, cylindric, shorter to longer than calyx (sometimes); tube of female flowers 3-4 x 1.5-2.2 mm, funnelform, shorter than calyx; lobes white at anthesis, ovate (usually) to elliptic, subacute to obtuse, patent to recurved (with age), shorter than (usually) to longer than (rarely) corolla tube. Stamen filaments remaining erect, 0.5-1.3 mm; anthers magenta, 1-1.9 mm; sterile anthers of female flowers white, 0.8 -1.1 mm. Ovary narrowly ovoid to conical, 2-2.5 mm; ovules 18-28 per locule, in 1-3 layers; style 3-8 mm on hermaphrodite flowers, 5-6 mm on female flowers; stigma larger in female flowers. Capsules acute to subacute, 3.5-4.5 (-5.5) x 2-3.5 mm, loculicidal split extending ¼-½-way to base. Seeds flattened, ellipsoid or more or less discoid, straw-yellow, 0.7-1 x 0.5-0.9 mm, micropylar rim 0.1-0.3 mm.
Distinguished from V. haastii, in which it was included by Cheeseman (1906) and Moore (in Allan 1961), by its: bright green, fleshy, petiolate and often subdistichous leaves; sometimes lax flowering head; usually linear calyx lobes; narrow acute capsule. V. var. humilis is more variable in terms of leaf shape (elliptic or rhomboidal to spathulate), leaf margins (smooth to papillose or erose), and calyx shape and length (lanceolate to linear). V. var. macrocalyx is relatively uniform in morphology, all specimens having bright green, spathulate leaves with cartilaginous leaf margins and green, linear calyx lobes.
The species commonly grows near V. epacridea.
(November-) December-April (-October)
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’.
macrocalyx: From the Greek macros ‘large’ and calyx
humilis: Lowest, dwarf, small, slight
In northwest Nelson, V. var. humilis sometimes grows in shaded rock crevices and sinkholes, and these “shade form” plants have an etiolated, more sprawling habit with much longer internodes, and darker, spathulate and often toothed leaves (WELT 80 745).
On the basis of cultivated specimens, var. humilis was also recorded by Simpson (1952) from Mt French, west Otago (CHR 243479), and Mt Elliot, Southland (CHR 97169); neither of these localities is represented in the distribution.
Description adapted by M. Ward from Bayly & Kellow (2006).
References and further reading
Allan, H. H. 1961. Flora of New Zealand. Vol. 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. 116-118.
Cheeseman, T. F. 1906. Manual of the New Zealand Flora.1st edition. Wellington: Government Printer,
Simpson, G. 1952. Notes on some New Zealand plants and descriptions of new species (no. 5).
Transactions of the Royal Society of New Zealand 79: 419-35.
NZPCN Fact Sheet citation
Please cite as: Ward, M.D. (Year at time of access): Veronica macrocalyx var. humilis Fact Sheet (content continuously updated). New Zealand Plant Conservation Network. https://www.nzpcn.org.nz/flora/species/veronica-macrocalyx-var-humilis/ (Date website was queried)