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Hebe macrocarpa (Vahl) Ckn. & Allan

Modern name

Hebe macrocarpa (Vahl) Cockayne & Allan


Veronica macrocarpa Vahl

A shrub 4 to 8 ft high with stout glabrous branches; leaf-bud without sinus. Leaves 212 to 6 in. long, 12 to 114 in. wide, elliptic, oblong-elliptic, or oblong lanceolate, acute at the apex, dark green, almost glabrous, rather leathery in texture. Flowers white in simple racemes 3 to 6 in. long; bracts small, shorter than the pedicels. Calyx-lobes broad-oblong, obtuse or acute in the same flower. Corolla 14 in. or slightly more wide at the mouth; tube broad, twice as long as the calyx; corolla-lobes rounded at the apex, longer than the tube. Capsules glabrous, 14 to almost 12 in. long, much longer than the calyx.

Native of the North Island of New Zealand. A very striking species but also very tender.

var. latisepala (Kirk) Ckn. & Allan V. latisepala Kirk – Flowers bluish purple or deep violet. Calyx-lobes short and broad. Racemes usually shorter than the leaves. The material figured in the Botanical Magazine, n.s., t. 358, was taken from a plant in the Temperate House at Kew, propagated from one at Tresco Abbey in the Isles of Scilly. In this the flowers are of a deepish lavender-colour.

var. brevifolia (Cheesem.) L. B. Moore V. speciosa var. brevifolia Cheesem. – A distinct variety confined to one locality at the northern end of North Island. Flowers reddish purple or violet-purple. Leaves 1 to 212 in. long, 12 to 34 in. wide, oblong-obovate to narrow-oblong. Racemes about as long as the leaves. The tender garden variety H. ‘Headfortii’, raised at Headfort, Eire, from New Zealand seeds, seems to be very near to this variety in its botanical characters. It has oblong-elliptic leaves about 158 in. long; inflorescences borne in great numbers from the upper leaf-axils; flowers violet with a white throat. The flowering season is spring and early summer.

From the Supplement (Vol. V)

† H. obtusata (Cheesem.) Ckn. & Allan – Allied to H. macrocarpa, this differs in being a low spreading shrub and also, from the typical variety, in its lavender-coloured flowers. A native of the west coast of North Island, it is doubtfully hardy outside the milder parts. In its native habitat it flowers from around midsummer to midwinter, but in the form introduced by Graham Hutchins from the Christchurch Botanic Garden bears its main crop in spring.

Plants with lavender-coloured flowers found in one locality of North Island in 1926 are near to H. obtusata but probably hybrids. They were described by Petrie under the name Veronica × bishopiana.



Other species in the genus