Veronica fonkii Phil., Veronica salicifolia var. communis Cockayne, Hebe salicifolia var. communis (Cockayne) Cockayne et Allan, Hebe salicifolia (G.Forst.) Pennell
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 | Qualifiers: SO
Previous conservation statuses
2012 | Not Threatened
2009 | Not Threatened
2004 | Not Threatened
Bushy shrub bearing pairs of narrow pointed leaves inhabiting the South and Stewart Islands. Leaves variable, to 132mm long, gradually tapering to narrow tip, margin often uneven and with fine hairs (lens needed). Leaf bud with very small gap between leaves at base. Flowers in spikes to 23cm long.
Throughout the South Island (except for Marlborough Sounds) and Stewart Island, also on Auckland Island and in Chile. Naturalised in western Europe (Webb 1972).
Occurs from sea-level to close to the treeline, mostly in open sites, and in forest.
Wetland plant indicator status rating
Information derived from the revised national wetland plant list prepared to assist councils in delineating and monitoring wetlands (Clarkson et al., 2021 Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research Contract Report LC3975 for Hawke’s Bay Regional Council). The national plant list categorises plants by the extent to which they are found in wetlands and not ‘drylands’. The indicator status ratings are OBL (obligate wetland), FACW (facultative wetland), FAC (facultative), FACU (facultative upland), and UPL (obligate upland).
FACU: Facultative Upland
Occasionally is a hydrophyte but usually occurs in uplands (non-wetlands).
Openly branched bushy shrub to 2.5 m tall. Branches erect, old stems brown or grey; branchlets green or orange, glabrous (often) or puberulent, hairs bifarious to uniform; internodes (1-) 6-18 (-34) mm; leaf decurrencies evident or obscure. Leaf bud distinct; sinus square to oblong. Leaves erecto-patent; lamina narrowly lanceolate or oblanceolate, coriaceous or subcoriaceous, shallowly m-shaped in transverse section, (34-) 60-106 (-132) x (6-) 11- 18 (-28) mm; apex acuminate; brochidodromous secondary veins evident in fresh leaves; margin cartilaginous, pubescent or ciliate, distantly denticulate or entire; upper surface green, dull, with few or many stomata, hairy along midrib; lower surface light green, glabrous or hairy along midrib or sometimes covered with minute glandular hairs; petiole (1-) 2-4 (-5) mm, hairy along margins and above and below. Inflorescences with 100-250 flowers, lateral, unbranched, (5-) 7-18 (-23) cm; peduncle (0.7-) 1.3-4.5 (-6) cm; rachis (3.5-) 5.5-17.5 cm. Bracts alternate, lanceolate or linear, acute or subacute. Flowers hermaphrodite (or possibly some male-sterile). Pedicels (0.7-) 1.3-3 (-4.7) mm, sometimes recurved in fruit. Calyx 1.5-3 mm lobes ovate or lanceolate, acute or subacute. Corolla tube hairy inside and often outside, 2.5-3.2 x 1.6-1.8 mm, contracted at base, longer than calyx; lobes white or tinged mauve at anthesis, lanceolate, acute to subacute, suberect or erect, longer than corolla tube, sometimes with a few hairs toward base on inner surface and/or ciliate (e.g. WELT 16280). Stamen filaments 5-8.5 mm; anthers mauve, 1.5-1.9 mm. Ovary 0.9-1.1 mm; ovules 14-19 per locule, in 1-2 layers; style 4-6 mm. sometimes sparsely hairy. Capsules subacute or obtuse, 2.5-3.5 x 2.5-3 mm, loculicidal split extending ¼-¾-way to base (most approximately 1/3). Seeds flattened, broad ellipsoid to discoid, straw-yellow. (0.6-) 0.7-1.1 x 0.6-0.9 mm, micropylar rim 0.1-0.2 mm.
The most common Veronica of lowland and montane areas of South Island distinguished from most others by the size of its leaves. Similar South Island species are V. stricta, from which it differs in the presence of a leaf bud sinus, and V. phormiiphila (see notes under that species). It hybridises with V. elliptica, V. calcicola (Bayly et al. 2001). probably V. albicans and V. strictissima (see notes under those species), and potentially other species with which it co-occurs.
(October-) December-June (-July)
(November-) January- June (-July)
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’.
salicifolia: From the Latin Salix ‘willow’ and -folia ‘leaf’, meaning ‘willow-leaved’
It is not known whether V. salicifolia occurs naturally on Auckland Island or was introduced there. Two confirmed specimens (WELT 11157, WELT 83266!) are from a single plant growing close to a ruined house site near Lindley Point (Johnson & Campbell 1975). A more recent specimen from the same general area, CHR 437295, “nr. Deas Head” W.R. Sykes ZS/87, 13 Feb. 1987, resembles V. salicifolia, but is not identified with certainty (in the size of the flowers and inflorescences, and in leaf margin pubescence, it resembles some V. salicifolia x V. elliptica hybrids).
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. 268 pp.
Johnson, P. N. and Campbell, D. J. 1975. Vascular plants of the Auckland Islands. New Zealand Journal of Botany 13: 665-720.
Webb, D. A. 1972. Hebe. In: Tutin, T. G., Heywood, V. H., Burgess, N. A., Moore, D. M., Valentine, D. H., Walters, S. M. and Webb, D. A., eds, Flora Europaea. Vol. 3, Diapensiaceae to Myoporaceae. London: Cambridge University Press. pp. 251-2.
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 salicifolia Fact Sheet (content continuously updated). New Zealand Plant Conservation Network. https://www.nzpcn.org.nz/flora/species/veronica-salicifolia/ (Date website was queried)