Veronica cupressoides var. variabilis N.E.Br., Veronica propinqua var. major Cockayne ex Cheeseman, Hebe propinqua (Cheeseman) Cockayne et Allan, Hebe propinqua var. major (Cockayne ex Cheeseman) 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 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
Spreading low growing shrub bearing greenish erect narrow short scaly twigs inhabiting southern Otago mountains. Twigs 1.6-2.4mm wide. Leaves scale-like, smooth, clasping stem and with line where joins stem, short section of stem visible, tip rounded. Flowers white, in groups at hairy tips of twigs.
Mountains of Otago and Southland, South Island, in an area roughly bounded by Mount Ida in the northeast, Mount Maungatua in the southeast and the Mararoa Valley in the west.
It grows in penalpine grassland and subalpine shrubland.
Spreading low or bushy shrub to 1 m tall, of whipcord form. Branches erect or ascending; internodes (0.8-) 1-2.8 mm; branchlets, including leaves, (1.3-) 1.6-2.4 mm wide; connate leaf bases hairy (usually), or glabrous; nodal joint distinct, exposed; leaves not readily abscising, persistent along the stem for some distance. Leaves connate, appressed; lamina not thickened near the apex; apex obtuse; midrib not thickened; margin, ciliolate to ciliate; lower surface green, veins not visible, dull or sometimes more or less glossy. Reversion leaves incised or crenate or entire, glabrous. Inflorescences terminal, unbranched, 0.3-0.9 cm; rachis densely hairy (with long, white, tangled hairs). Bracts opposite and decussate, connate (at least lowermost), broadly deltoid or ovate, obtuse. Flowers hermaphrodite. Calyx 1.5-2.5 mm, with anterior lobes free for most of their length or united to ¼-way to apex; lobes elliptic, obtuse. Corolla tube hairy inside, 1.5-2.1 x 1.5-2.1 mm, funnelform, equalling calyx; lobe, white at anthesis, elliptic (often broadly) to almost circular, obtuse, suberect to recurved, longer than or equalling corolla tube. Stamen filaments 3.5-4.5 mm; anthers magenta. 0.9-1.6mm. Ovary 0.6-1.1 mm, apex (in septum view) didymous; ovules 11-24 per locule, marginal on a flattened placenta (possibly scattered when many ovules present), in 1-3 layers; style 2.7-5.8 mm. Capsules obtuse, (1.5-) 2.5-2.9 x (1.5-) 2.1-2.2 mm, loculicidal split extending ¼-1/3-way to base. Seeds flattened, ellipsoid (sometimes broadly), more or less finely papillate, pale brown, 0.6-1 x 0.5-0.7 mm, micropylar rim 0.1-0.2 mm.
A distinctive species, distinguished from other whipcords by the combination of: dark green, unribbed, closely appressed, rounded leaves; prominent nodal joints; internodes that are usually prominently exposed; and anterior calyx lobes that are free for most of their length. Plants differ greatly in stature, depending on growing conditions, from low open shrubs approximately 15 cm tall (e.g. places in the Rock and Pillar Range) to dense rounded bushes approximately 1 m high and 1 m wide. It sometimes occurs with, or close to, V. annulata, V. hectorii and V. poppelwellii.
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’.
propinqua: From the Latin propinquus ‘near, neighbouring’, meaning closely related to another species
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. 98.
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 propinqua Fact Sheet (content continuously updated). New Zealand Plant Conservation Network. https://www.nzpcn.org.nz/flora/species/veronica-propinqua/ (Date website was queried)