Hebe parviflora (Vahl) Cockayne et Allan var. parviflora nom. superf., nom. illeg., Veronica arborea Buchanan, Veronica parviflora var. arborea (Buchanan) Kirk, Hebe parviflora var. arborea (Buchanan) L.B.Moore, Hebe parviflora (Vahl) 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
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
Large rounded shrub bearing pairs of narrow leaves inhabiting forest edges mainly in the east of the North Island. Leaves to 76mm long by 7mm wide, tip with blunt yellow knob, margin hairy (lens needed). Leaf bud without gap. Flowers white, in spikes to 12cm long near tip of twigs.
Eastern, central and southern North Island (including the Hen and Chickens and Great Barrier Islands), and northeast South Island, ranging from near Russell (North Island) to near Kekerengu (South Island).
It generally grows in scrub on hillsides, along streams and at forest margins, from near coastal to montane situations.
Bushy shrub or small tree (often highly branched toward the tips, and dome-shaped when young) to 7.5 (-12) m tall. Branches erect, old stems pale grey; branchlets progressing from olive-green to brown or red-brown, puberulent or rarely glabrous, hairs bifarious (mostly) or uniform; internodes (1.5-) 3-17 (-20) mm; leaf decurrencies obscure. Leaf bud distinct; sinus absent. Leaves erecto-patent to recurved; lamina lanceolate or linear-lanceolate, subcoriaceous, flat or concave, (8-) 25-60 (-76) x 1.5-7 mm; apex whitish, acute or shortly acuminate; 2 lateral secondary veins sometimes evident at base of fresh leaves; margin scabrous or minutely pubescent (with short, stiff, basally-swollen, antrorse hairs); upper surface light green, dull, usually with many stomata, hairy along midrib; lower surface light green, not pitted (although frequently with many small glandular hairs) or sometimes faintly pitted with small depressions that each contain a twin-headed glandular hair, or often glabrous. Inflorescences with (20-) 40-80 (-130) flowers, lateral, unbranched, (2-) 4-10 (-12) cm; peduncle (0.35-) 0.5-1.9 cm; rachis (1.6-) 3-10.2 cm. Bracts alternate, ovate to deltoid or oblong, acute to obtuse. Flowers hermaphrodite or female (on different plants). Pedicels (0.3-) 0.5-3.5 (-4) mm, hairy or glabrous, sometimes recurved in fruit. Calyx 1.5-2.3 (-2.7) mm; lobes ovate to elliptic (often broadly), obtuse to acute (sometimes on one inflorescence). Corolla tube hairy inside; tube of hermaphrodite flowers 2.1-3.8 x 1.4-3 (-3.8) mm, cylindric or slightly expanded in lower half, longer than calyx; lobe, white tinged with pink or mauve at anthesis, ovate (sometimes broadly), obtuse (posterior sometimes emarginate), suberect to recurved, sometimes with a few hairs toward base on inner surface. Stamen filaments incurved at apex in bud, 3-5 mm; anthers magenta, 1.5-2.2 mm; sterile anthers of female flowers very pale lilac or light brown, approximately 1 mm (when dry). Ovary approximately 0.8-1 mm; ovules approximately 8-12 per locule; style 3.5-6 mm, Capsules obtuse or subacute, 2.5-3.5 x 1.4-2.5 mm, loculicidal split extending ¼-¾-way to base. Seeds strongly flattened, ellipsoid to discoid, weakly winged, straw-yellow to pale brown, 0.9-1.8 x 0.8-1.4 mm, micropylar rim 0.1 (-0.5) mm.
Similar to V. stenophylla and V. strictissima. It is distinguished from: the former by often smooth (only sometimes pitted) leaf surfaces, minutely hairy leaf margins, corolla tubes that are hairy within and calyx cilia always including twin-headed glandular hairs; and from the latter by having corolla tubes longer than calyces, It can also be more arborescent than either of these species.
(September-) January-March (-August)
(January-) February-June (-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’.
parviflora: From the Latin parvus ‘small, puny’ and flores ‘flowers’, meaning small-flowered.
Plants are often highly branched toward their extremities, giving a characteristic dome-shaped appearance when young, which may persist to some age in open situations. The species is, however, variable in habit, as it also is in corolla tube length and the degree to which the leaf surface is pitted with recessed glandular hairs. Along the Taruarau and Rangitikei rivers (e.g. WELT 80944, 80945, 81037, 81051) some plants are quite openly branched and similar to V. stenophylla in having relatively long corolla tubes and leaves that are distinctly pitted on the lower surface. These plants are included under V. parviflora on the basis of their hairy leaf margins, hairy corolla tubes, conspicuous glandular hairs on calyx margins, and flavonoid profile (Bayly et al. 2000).
Description adapted by M. Ward from Bayly & Kellow (2006).
References and further reading
Bayly, M. J., Garnock-Jones, P. J., Mitchell, K. A., Markham, K. R. and Brownsey, P. J. 2000. A taxonomic revision of the Hebe parviflora complex (Scrophulariaceae), based on morphology and flavonoid chemistry. New Zealand Journal of Botany38: 165-90.
Bayly, M.J., Kellow, A.V. 2006. An illustrated guide to New Zealand Hebes. Wellington, N.Z.: Te Papa press pg. 174-176.
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 parviflora Fact Sheet (content continuously updated). New Zealand Plant Conservation Network. https://www.nzpcn.org.nz/flora/species/veronica-parviflora/ (Date website was queried)