Hebe ochracea Ashwin, Leonohebe ochracea (Ashwin) Heads
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 = 124
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: Sp
Previous conservation statuses
2012 | At Risk – Naturally Uncommon | Qualifiers: Sp
2009 | At Risk – Naturally Uncommon
2004 | Range Restricted
Spreading low growing shrub bearing orangeish erect narrow short scaly twigs inhabiting Northwest Nelson mountains. Twigs 1-2.7mm wide. Leaves scale-like, smooth, merging with stem, closely packed, clasping stem, sometimes with a hairy margin (lens needed), tip rounded. Flowers white, in groups of 4-8 at tips of twigs.
South Island - Mountains of Western Nelson, from the Anatoki Range to Mount Owen, with a disjunct southern occurrence in the Paparoa Range.
Grassland or shrubland, usually over limestone or marble rocks.
Spreading low or bushy shrub to 0.4 m tall, of whipcord form. Branches ascending or spreading (with numerous short and erect secondary branches arising from upper surface); internodes (0.4-) 1-2.7 (-3) mm; branchlets, including leaves, 1.4-3.4 mm wide; connate leaf bases usually hairy or sometimes glabrous; nodal joint usually obscure (but sometimes apparent in older leaves), exposed; leaves not readily abscising and fragments persistent along the stem for some distance. Leaves connate, appressed; lamina not thickened near the apex; margin densely ciliate; lower surface dark green (and ochre-coloured at tips), veins not visible. glossy. Inflorescences with 4-8 flowers, terminal, unbranched, (0.2-) 0.3-0.85 cm. Bracts opposite and decussate, connate, broadly ovate, obtuse or subacute. Flowers hermaphrodite. Calyx 2-2.4 mm, with anterior lobes united to apex; lobes ovate (fused anterior lobe very broadly oblong-ovate), subacute (posterior) or obtuse (or slightly emarginate, anterior). Corolla tube hairy inside, 1.2-1.4 x 1.5-1.6 mm, funnelform, shorter than or equalling calyx; lobes white at anthesis, obovate or elliptic, obtuse or subacute (posterior sometimes emarginate), suberect to recurved (with age), longer than corolla tube. Stamen filaments straight or possibly slightly incurved at apex in bud, 2.8-3.5 mm; anthers pink to orange, 1.3-1.4 mm. Ovary globose, sometimes hairy, 0.6-0.7 mm, apex (in septum view) didymous; ovules 5-9 per locule, style 3-4.5 mm. Capsules obtuse or truncate or didymous, 1.7-2.6 x 1.7-2.5 mm, sometimes hairy, loculicidal split extending 1/3-3/4-way to base (mostly approximately 1/3). Seed characters not recorded.
Distinguished from other whipcord species by the combination of: usually fused anterior calyx lobes; lack of a conspicuous nodal joint, except sometimes on older leaves; leaves that are not obviously ribbed; and the overall ochre colour of fresh plants, a product of the colour of the leaf tips. It is probably most similar to the group of related species comprising V. salicornioides, V. armstrongii and V. annulata, with which it usually shares the first three of these features. It is geographically distinct from those species, and differs in overall coloration, the relative size, shape and arrangement of leaves, as well as in chromosome number, and ITS sequences (Wagstaff & Wardle 1999).
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’.
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. 104.
Wagstaff, S. J. and Wardle, P. 1999. Whipcord hebes - systematics, distribution, ecology and evolution. New Zealand Journal of Botany 37: 17-39.
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 ochracea Fact Sheet (content continuously updated). New Zealand Plant Conservation Network. https://www.nzpcn.org.nz/flora/species/veronica-ochracea/ (Date website was queried)