More than 80% of the native plant species in New Zealand, only occur in New Zealand. Some have an even smaller natural range, which makes them particularly unique.

Banks Peninsula (South Island, New Zealand) has several such species, including a Hebe. It only naturally occurs on Banks Peninsula, amongst rocky outcrops and on exposed cliff faces. It was already rare, but now it is having to compete with weeds like gorse, and browsing by goats and possums.

It is an attractive little plant, which makes a nice option for a native pot plant. The rounded, dull green, leathery leaves have red crenate edges.

The Hebe has around 100-150 flowers, in a compact cluster. The flower buds are tinged with pink, followed by white flowers.

The Banks Peninsula Hebe is susceptible to mildew, so we are growing it in a pot, to make it easier to maintain. We have it in a north-facing but exposed location, and we water it without getting the leaves wet.

The current name for the Banks Peninsula Hebe is Veronica lavaudiana. As for many Veronica, there have been many name changes for this species. Synonyms include Hebe lavaudiana (Raoul) Cockayne et Allan; Heliohebe lavaudiana (Raoul) Garn.-Jones; and Parahebe lavaudiana (Hook.f.) Heads.

Further Information

  • de Lange, P.J. (2020): Veronica lavaudiana Fact Sheet (content continuously updated). New Zealand Plant Conservation Network (25-Sep-2020)
  • Eagle A (2006) Eagle’s Complete Trees and Shrubs of New Zealand. Te Papa Press
  • Garnock-Jones, P.J. 1993: Heliohebe (Scrophulariaceae Veroniceae), a new genus segregated from Hebe. New Zealand Journal of Botany 31: 323-339.
  • Garnock-Jones, P.J.; Albach, D.; Briggs, B.G. 2007: Botanical names in Southern Hemisphere Veronica (Plantaginaceae): sect. Detzneria, ect. Hebe, and sect. Labiatoides. Taxon 56: 571-582