Vascular – Exotic
Herbs - Dicotyledons other than Composites
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.
Sprawling perennial herb up to 30 cm tall with opposite narrow stalkless leaves and small (c.1 cm across) white flowers.
Found locally in Thames, Waikato, Manawatu, Wairarapa, Canterbury, Dunedin and the West Coast.
Shallow water, swamps and margins of waterways.
Wetland plant indicator status rating
OBL: Obligate Wetland
Almost always is a hydrophyte, rarely in uplands (non-wetlands).
Glabrous herb with upright stems c.5 to 20 cm in length. The leaves are sessile, entire or sparsely toothed 2-6 cm x 0.1-1.2 cm. The flowers are in racemes that are slender and spreading, alternating in opposite pairs of leaves. Flowers are small (6mm across), and whitish in colour with purple veins. Capsule 3-4.5 mm wide.
Distinguished by its alternate flower stalks, linear leaves and white flowers with purple veins.
Summer to autumn
Reason for introduction
Probably a soil seed contaminant or contaminant of ornamental pond plants.
Not controlled in New Zealand.
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’.
Factsheet prepared by Paul Champion and Deborah Hofstra (NIWA).
References and further reading
Johnson P.N., and Brooke P.A. 1989: Wetland plants in New Zealand. DSIR Field Guide, DSIR Publishing, Wellington. 319 pp.
Popay I. et al. 2010: An illustrated guide to common weeds of New Zealand, third edition. NZ Plant Protection Society Inc. 416 pp.