Hebe tumida (Kirk) Cockayne et Allan, Leonohebe tumida (Kirk) Heads
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 = 42
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 | At Risk – Naturally Uncommon | Qualifiers: DP, Sp
Previous conservation statuses
2012 | At Risk – Naturally Uncommon | Qualifiers: Sp
2009 | At Risk – Naturally Uncommon
2004 | Range Restricted
Low growing green leafless knobbly twigs inhabiting northern Marlborough mountains. Leaves overlapping, scale-like, triangular, rounded, covering the stem, margin with pale hairs (lens needed). Flowers white, in clusters of 2-8 towards tips of twigs.
South Island, Northern mountains including the Bryant, Richmond, Gordon, Travers, St Arnaud and Raglan ranges, as well as mountains between the Leatham and Waihopai rivers.
Alpine rock outcrops and sometimes on scree.
Sub-shrub to 0.2 m tall, of semiwhipcord form. Branches decumbent; internodes (0.5-) 0.8-2.6 (-3.4) mm; branchlets, including leaves, 1.3-2.5 (-3) mm wide, cruciform in transverse section; connate leaf bases glabrous; leaves not readily abscising, persistent along the stem for some distance. Leaf bud tightly surrounded by recently diverged leaves. Leaves connate, appressed; lamina deltoid (shortly and often bluntly so); venation not evident in fresh leaves; margin ciliate; lower surface dark green, glossy or dull. Juvenile and reversion leaves entire, ciliate and pubescent (with eglandular hook-shaped hairs). Inflorescences with 2-8 flowers, lateral, unbranched, 0.2-0.9cm; peduncle 0.15-0.3 cm. Bracts opposite and decussate, apparently free, deltoid or oblong, obtuse. Flowers usually male or female (on different plants) (but some specimens are possibly hermaphrodite appearing to have pollen and fruit). Pedicels absent or if evident then always shorter than bracts, 0-1 mm, glabrous or hairy. Calyx approximately 2-2.5 mm; lobes oblong to slightly obovate, apex thickened and obtuse, with mixed gl. and eglandular cilia (glandular cilia may be obscure). Corolla tube, glabrous; tube, of male flowers 1.5-1.8 x approximately 1.5 mm, cylindric or funnelform, shorter than or equalling calyx; tube of female flowers shorter than calyx; lobes while at anthesis (pink to mauve in bud), ovate or circular or broadly elliptic, obtuse, sub-erect to patent, equalling corolla tube. Stamen filaments remaining erect, 1-1.2 mm; anthers purple, approximately 1.1-1.3 mm; sterile anthers of female flowers lighter purple. Ovary 0.5-0. 7 mm; ovules 5-7 per locule, in 2 vertical rows on placenta; style 1-4 mm; stigma larger in female flowers. Capsules angustiseptate, 1.5-3.2 mm long, 1.3-2.7 mm thick, septicidal split extending½ to all way to base, loculicidal split extending to base. Seeds flattened, ellipsoid 10 discoid, pale brown, 0.8-1.1 x 0.7-1.2 mm, micropylar rim 0.1-0.3 mm.
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’.
tumida: From the Latin tumidus ‘swollen’
Distinguished from other semi-whipcords by tumidly swollen leaves that are convex on the outer surface.
In western and southern parts of its range it probably intergrades with Veronica cheesemanii sp. In the west some specimens from Bounds and Pinnacle resemble Veronica cheesemanii sp. in having leaves slightly more imbricate and less protruding/swollen than usual, making branchlets squarer in cross section. Specimens from nearby, on the Black Birch Range, are more extreme in these respects, and are assigned here to Veronica cheesemanii sp. These specimens, together with one from Crystal Peak, Crimea Range; (close to the southern geographic boundary between Veronica tumida and Veronica cheesemanii sp.), have leaves more protruding/swollen than typically seen in Veronica cheesemanii sp. (hence resembling Veronica tumida), but are included in that species on the basis of their branchlets, which are quite square in cross section.
Veronica tumida possibly also intergrades, or hybridises, with Veronica hookerii at some localities. Specimens from Mt Robert, Travers Range are particularly variable; some most closely match Veronica tumida, some match Veronica hookerii, and others are intermediate, with leaves that are shorter and plumper than generally found in Veronica hookerii, but both squarer at the apex and more oblong in their upper portion than usual in Veronica tumida. A sprig from a plant of this last kind is shown in Bayly & Kellow (2006).
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. 294.
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