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Hebe brachysiphon Summerhayes

Modern name

Veronica brachysiphon Summerh.


Veronica brachysiphon (Summerhayes) Bean; V. traversii Hort., not Hook. f.

An evergreen shrub up to 6 ft high, or more, forming a wide-spreading, rounded bush of dense habit; branches erect, at first minutely downy, soon becoming quite glabrous. Leaf-bud with a narrow sinus. Leaves densely arranged on the shoot (ten or twelve to the inch), superposed in four vertical rows; narrowly oval or oblong, sometimes slightly obovate, 12 to 1 in. long, 16 to 14 in. wide, pointed, tapered at the base to a short, broad, hinged stalk, dark, rather dull green. Racemes produced in July from the leaf-axils near the end of the shoot, usually about 34 in. long, 3 in. wide, the main-stalk minutely downy. Flowers 14 to 13 in. in diameter, white. Sepals ovate with minute hairs at the edges. Corolla-tube broad, about twice as long as calyx. Anthers purple-brown. Seed-vessel 16 in. long, much compressed, about twice as long as the sepals. Bot. Mag., t. 6390.

Native of New Zealand; introduced about 1868. This has proved the most hardy, and on the whole the most ornamental of New Zealand veronicas in gardens. The only time I have seen it killed by cold was in February 1895. It makes a handsome and shapely evergreen, worth growing on that account alone, but it has the additional attraction of flowering freely and regularly after mid­summer, when shrubs in flower cease to be abundant. It is pleasing as an isolated specimen on a lawn.

H. traversii (Hook, f.) Ckn. & Allan V. traversii Hook. f. – H. brachysiphon was long cultivated in gardens as Veronica or Hebe traversii. The true species, which has certainly been in cultivation, is easily distinguishable from H. brachysiphon by its very slender corolla-tubes and, in fruit, by its capsules being about four times as long as the calyx-lobes. The inflorescences are of the same length as in H. brachysiphon, the leaves of similar dimensions but more oblong.

H. venustula (Col.) L. B. Moore V. venustula Col.; V. laevis Benth., not Lam.; H. laevis (Benth.) Ckn. & Allan – This species is allied to H. brachysiphon. Plants at Kew probably belonging to this species have the leaves more densely set on the shoot than in H. brachysiphon. They are oblong-oblanceolate, 12 to 58 in. long, about 316 in. wide, blunt at the apex, slightly concave, medium, mat green above; leaf-bud without sinus. Flowers white in dense racemes about 114 in. long, some of them branched; peduncles hairy, shorter than the subtending leaf; bracts equalling or slightly shorter than the pedicels. Native of the mountains of North Island.



Other species in the genus