Hebe salicornioides (Hook.f.) Cockayne et Allan, Leonohebe salicornioides (Hook.f.) Heads
Vascular – Native
Trees & Shrubs - Dicotyledons
2n = 42
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). 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.
2012 | Threatened – Nationally Endangered | Qualifiers: RR
Previous conservation statuses
2009 | Threatened – Nationally Endangered | Qualifiers: RF
2004 | Threatened – Nationally Endangered
Spreading low growing shrub bearing green erect narrow scaly even twigs inhabiting inland Marlborough. Twigs 1.2-3.8mm wide. Leaves scale-like, smooth, clasping stem along full length, tip rounded, margins finely hairy (lens needed). Flowers white, in groups of 6-8 at tips of twigs.
Endemic. South Island only. In the east from southern Marlborough (upper Wairau and Clarences rivers including tributaries) to North Canterbury (Lake Tennyson).
A montane to subalpine species occupying an altitudinal range of 750-1500m. It is invariably found in mountain valleys, along lake, tarn, river or stream side catchments, usually within red tussock (Chionochloa rubra) dominated wetlands, flushes and seepages
Erect shrub up to 1 x 1m. Trunk short, stout, covered in grey bark. Branches few, erect, rather flexible. Branchlets terete, 20-80 mm long , 2-2.5(-3) mm diameter, yellow-green, not glossy, softly fleshy, and pliant, very brittle when dead; internodes 3-4 mm long, exposed for most of length; nodal joint obscure. Leaves widely spaced (distant), reduced to scales, < 1mm long, somewhat membranous when fresh, dull green to yellowish green, apex obtuse to rounded, or subacute, occasionally convex and incurved, margin with pale membranous rim pressed very close to the stem, fused for at least ½ of length to form a sheathing collar. Inflorescence a 10-12-flowered spike. Bracts 1.5 mm long, obtuse to truncate. Calyx 2-3 mm, lobes obtuse, usually fused for 2/3 of length, or completely to apex. Corolla tube 2-3 mm, included within calyx, white, truncate. Corolla lobes spreading, 3-5 mm, white or pale lilac, broadly ovate, apex obtuse to subacute. Capsule 4.5-5 x 2-2.5mm, pale brown to brown, rhomboid, rhomboid-ovate, apex subacute or acute.
Veronica salicornioides can be confused with V. armstrongii, and V. ochracea. From both species Veronica salicornioides can be distinguished by its preference for montane tussock-dominated flushes, lake, river and stream sides, erect growth form and fewer, ascending rather than spreading non-glossy branches, with the branchlet internodes 3 or more mm long, The leaves of this species are reduced to scales < 1 mm long, which are placed widely spaced on the stem, appressed and never overlapping . The leaves of Veronica armstrongii are bead-like and form bumps along the stem. Veronica ochracea has a dense spreading habit, firm glossy branchlets and think, olive-green leaves.
November - February
December - May
Seeds are wind dispersed (Thorsen et al., 2009).
Easy from fresh seed and semi-hardwood cuttings. Dislikes humidity and does best in a free-draining though permanently moist soil planted in full sun.
Formerly threatened by fire. This species now has a widely fragmented distribution. Many populations comprise mature adults with no recruitment evident. Weeds such as Hieracium, Carex scoparia, and Agrostis spp. may be suppressing regeneration at some sites. Plants are browsed by cattle, horses, sheep and goats, and at many sites it is only secure because of the general inaccessibility of the habitat
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’.
salicornioides: Like Salicornia (glasswort)
Where To Buy
Occasionally available from specialist native plant nurseries.
Hebe salicornioides has also been recorded from western Otago (Humboldt Range) though the record is apparently unsubstantiated by herbarium vouchers. NZPCN follow others who regard this species as endemic to southern Marlborough and North Canterbury
Fact sheet prepared for NZPCN by P.J. de Lange 1 October 2006. Description based on Bayly & Kellow (2006).
References and further reading
Bayly, M.J.; Kellow, A.V. Hebes, identification, classification and biology. Wellington, Te Papa Press
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: de Lange, P.J. (Year at time of access): Veronica salicornioides Fact Sheet (content continuously updated). New Zealand Plant Conservation Network. https://www.nzpcn.org.nz/flora/species/veronica-salicornioides/ (Date website was queried)