Veronica imbricata Petrie nom. illeg., Hebe imbricata Cockayne et Allan, Leonohebe imbricata (Cockayne et Allan) Heads, Veronica poppelwellii Cockayne, Hebe poppelwellii (Cockayne) Cockayne et Allan, Leonohebe poppelwellii (Cockayne) Heads, Hebe imbricata subsp. poppelwelli (Cockayne) Wagstaff et Wardle, Veronica hectorii var. gracilior Petrie ex Poppelw., nom. nud.
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 | Range Restricted
Spreading low growing shrub bearing yellowish-green erect narrow short scaly twigs inhabiting southern South Island mountains. Twigs 2-3.2mm wide. Leaves scale-like, striped, closely packed, tip rounded, clasping stem, sometimes with a hairy margin (lens needed). Flowers white, in groups of 6-12 at tips of twigs.
Mountains of Otago and Southland, from the Rock and Pillar Range in the northeast to near Green Lake in the southwest, including the Lammermoor Range, Lammerlaw Range, Mt Benger, Old Man Range, Garvie Mountains and Eyre Mountains.
It grows in penalpine grassland and low shrubland.
Spreading low or bushy shrub to 0.8 m tall, of whipcord form. Branches erect or ascending; internodes 0.5- 1.25 (-1.4) mm; branchlets, including leaves, 2-3.2 (-3.5) mm wide; connate leaf bases hairy; nodal joint distinct, almost always hidden; leaves not readily abscising, persistent along the stem for some distance. Leaves connate, appressed; lamina not thickened near the apex; apex obtuse (sometimes strongly keeled) or subapiculate; margin ciliate to minutely ciliolate; lower surface yellowish-green, with prominent shallow veins that give a ribbed or striped appearance, dull or slightly glossy. Reversion leaves incised or entire, glabrous. Inflorescences with 6-12 (-18) flowers, terminal, unbranched, 0.3-1.3 cm. Bracts opposite and decussate, connate, ovate (sometimes broadly), obtuse or almost acuminate. Flowers hermaphrodite. Pedicels absent. Calyx 2.2-3 mm, 4-5-lobed (5th lobe small, posterior); lobes broadly oblong or elliptic, obtuse or subacute, with mixed glandular and eglandular cilia (eglandular hairs long, flattened and tangled). Corolla tube hairy inside, 1.7-2.5 x 1- 1.6 mm, shortly cylindric or funnelform, shorter than or equalling calyx; lobes white at anthesis, elliptic (sometimes broadly) or circular, obtuse, (posterior sometimes emarginate), patent to recurved, longer than or equalling corolla tube. Stamen filaments 2.5-4.5 mm; anthers magenta, 1- 1.6 mm. Ovary globose or ovoid, 0.5-1.3 mm, apex (in septum view) didymous; ovules 11-24 per locule, in 1-2 layers; style 3.6-5 mm. Capsules obtuse, 2-2.5 (-3) x 1-2 mm, loculicidal split extending ¼-½-way to base. Seed characters not recorded in Bayly & Kellow (2006).
Similar to V. lycopodioides, from which it is distinguished by its rounded to subacute leaf apices.
(December-) January- March
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’.
poppelwellii: After Poppelwell
The circumscription adopted in Bayly & Kellow (2006) includes plants recognised as Hebe poppelwellii by Ashwin (in Allan 1961). In the strict sense, V. poppelwellii (formerly H. imbricata) includes only plants from between Lake Monowai and Mount Burns, the south-westernmost points of the distribution. Plants from this area tend to have greener, longer, less strongly keeled leaves and stouter branchlets than plants from localities further east and north, traditionally included in H. poppelwellii. The two taxa should possibly be treated as distinct at an infraspecific rank, as they were by Wagstaff & Wardle (1999), but, despite some obvious geographic trends, consistent differences are difficult to identify.
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. 102.
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 poppelwellii Fact Sheet (content continuously updated). New Zealand Plant Conservation Network. https://www.nzpcn.org.nz/flora/species/veronica-poppelwellii/ (Date website was queried)