Scientific Name:
Veronica bishopiana Petrie, Trans. New Zealand Inst. 56: 15 (1926) – as V. ×bishopiana
  • Hebe bishopiana (Petrie) Hatch, Newslett. Auckland Bot. Soc. 23: 1 (1966)
Lectotype (designated by L.B.Moore, in Allan 1961): hill at Huia near Manukau Heads, J. J. Bishop, H. Carse, E. Jenkins, April 1924, WELT 5329
V. bishopiana was named after John J. Bishop (1865–1933) of Titirangi, who collected and cultivated plants.

Spreading low or bushy shrub to 1 m tall. Stems sprawling to ascending; glabrous or minutely eglandular-puberulent; hairs bifarious or uniform. Leaf bud distinct, its leaves appressed at margins until fully grown; sinus absent. Leaves opposite-decussate, erecto-patent to recurved; lamina sub-coriaceous, lanceolate to narrow-elliptic or oblanceolate, 20–90 mm long, 8–22 mm wide, glossy dark green above, tinged maroon, especially on midrib, maroon or pinkish beneath, sometimes pale green; midrib evident; surfaces usually with eglandular hairs along midrib above, sometimes glabrous; margin ciliolate, entire; apex acute to weakly acuminate; base cuneate; petiole absent. Inflorescence a lateral raceme, 50–170 mm long; flowers crowded, 70–170, all bisexual; bracts alternate or loosely whorled, linear-lanceolate to elliptic, < to > pedicels; pedicels erecto-patent to spreading, recurved at fruiting, 1.5–4.0 mm long, eglandular-pubescent all around. Calyx lobes 4 (rarely a small 5th posterior lobe present), sub-acute to acuminate, 1.7–2.5 mm long, equal or sub-equal, mixed glandular- and eglandular-ciliolate, usually pubescent or sometimes glabrous outside. Corolla 4.5–6 mm diameter; tube white, 2–4 mm long, ≥ calyx, eglandular-hairy inside and sometimes outside; lobes 4, white or tinged pale purplish, erecto-patent to spreading, sub-equal, 2–4 mm long, obtuse to rounded; nectar guides absent. Stamen filaments white or pale purplish, 5.5–8.0 mm long; anthers purplish or buff. Style glabrous or sparsely hairy, 6–8 mm long. Capsules latiseptate, sub-acute, glabrous or eglandular-hairy, 3.0–4.5 mm long, 2.4–3.0 mm at widest point.. Seeds discoid to broadly ellipsoid, flattened, smooth, pale brown, 0.6–0.8 mm long.


V. bishopiana plants are similar to V. obtusata, but plants of the latter can be distinguished by their thicker and broader leaves, which have longer cilia on the margins and taper abruptly to an obtuse apex, their shorter pedicels, blunter calyx lobes fringed with eglandular hairs and only a few glandular ones, but glabrous on the outer surfaces, broader and more pointed corolla lobes, and more acute capsules, which are nearly always glabrous, and larger seeds.

V. bishopiana plants may resemble V. stricta, which can be distinguished by a more open and spreading habit, green young stems, brighter green leaves only rarely red underneath, and hairier calyces. Plants of V. ligustrifolia, V. rivalis and V. flavida can be distinguished by their green stems and leaves, corolla tube ≤ calyx, and acute corolla lobes; in addition V. flavida leaves are often larger (30–135 × 6–29 mm) and have a distinctive yellowish base to the midrib. V. ligustrifolia, V. rivalis and V. flavida do not occur in the Waitākere Ranges.


Stream-sides, shaded cliff faces, seepages on exposed outcrops, track margins in low scrub. Recorded elevations range from 60 to 390 m.

Indigenous (Endemic)

Flowers: October–July (mostly between February and June); fruits: May–August (persisting until November).


2n = 40 (see Bayly & Kellow 2006, as Hebe bishopiana).


Veronica bishopiana is classified in V. subg. Pseudoveronica sect. Hebe and the informal group “Occlusae” (Albach & Meudt 2010; Bayly & Kellow 2006).

V. bishopiana appears intermediate between V. obtusata and V. stricta, and was at first thought to be a hybrid between them. It may be that it has originated from such a cross, but it now appears to be locally stable and true-breeding and probably represents a diploid hybrid species. This question is discussed more fully by de Lange (1996) and by Bayly & Kellow (2006).

Albach, D.C.; Meudt, H.M. 2010: Phylogeny of Veronica in the Southern and Northern Hemispheres based on plastid, nuclear ribosomal and nuclear low-copy DNA. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 54: 457–471.
Bayly, M.J.; Kellow, A.V. 2006: An Illustrated Guide to New Zealand Hebes. Te Papa Press, Wellington.
de Lange, P.J. 1996: Hebe bishopiana (Scrophulariaceae); an endemic species of the Waitakere Ranges, west Auckland, New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Botany 34(2): 187–194.
de Lange, P.J.; Heenan, P.B.; Given, D.R.; Norton, D.A.; Ogle, C.C.; Johnson, P.N.; Cameron, E.K. 1999: Threatened and uncommon plants of New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Botany 37: 603–628. [as Hebe aff. bishopiana (AK 202263; Hikurangi Swamp); Hebe bishopiana (Petrie) Hatch]
de Lange, P.J.; Norton, D.A.; Courtney, S.P.; Heenan, P.B.; Barkla, J.W.; Cameron, E.K.; Hitchmough, R.; Townsend, A.J. 2009: Threatened and uncommon plants of New Zealand (2008 revision). New Zealand Journal of Botany 47: 61–96. [as Hebe bishopiana (Petrie) Hatch] [Nationally Vulnerable]
de Lange, P.J.; Norton, D.A.; Heenan, P.B.; Courtney, S.P.; Molloy, B.P.J.; Ogle, C.C.; Rance, B.D. 2004: Threatened and uncommon plants of New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Botany 42(1): 45–76. [as Hebe aff. bishopiana (AK 202263; Hikurangi Swamp); Hebe bishopiana (Petrie) Hatch]
de Lange, P.J.; Rolfe, J.R.; Barkla J.W.; Courtney, S.P.; Champion, P.D.; Perrie, L.R.; Beadel, S.N.; Ford, K.A.; Breitwieser, I.; Schönberger, I.; Hindmarsh-Walls, R.; Heenan, P.B.; Ladley, K. 2018: Conservation status of New Zealand indigenous vascular plants, 2017. New Zealand Threat Classification Series. No. 22. [Nationally Vulnerable]
de Lange, P.J.; Rolfe, J.R.; Champion, P.D.; Courtney, S.P.; Heenan, P.B.; Barkla, J.W.; Cameron, E.K.; Norton, D.A.; Hitchmough, R.A. 2013: Conservation status of New Zealand indigenous vascular plants, 2012. New Zealand Threat Classification Series 3. Department of Conservation, Wellington. [as Hebe aff. bishopiana (AK 202263; Hikurangi Swamp); Hebe bishopiana (Petrie) Hatch] [Nationally Critical; Nationally Vulnerable]
Garnock-Jones, P.J. 2023: Veronica. In: Breitwieser, I. (ed.) Flora of New Zealand – Seed Plants. Fascicle 9. Manaaki Whenua Press, Lincoln.
Garnock-Jones, P.J.; Albach, D.; Briggs, B.G. 2007: Botanical names in Southern Hemisphere Veronica (Plantaginaceae): sect. Detzneria, sect. Hebe, and sect. Labiatoides. Taxon 56: 571–582.
Hatch, E.D. 1966: Hebe × bishopiana. Auckland Botanical Society Newsletter 23: 1–1.
Petrie, D. 1926: Descriptions of new native plants. Transactions of the New Zealand Institute 56: 6–16.