Scientific Name:
Veronica hectorii Hook.f., Handb. New Zealand Fl. 212 (1864) subsp. hectorii
  • Hebe hectorii (Hook.f.) Cockayne & Allan, Trans. New Zealand Inst. 57: 40 (1926) var. hectorii
  • Hebe hectorii (Hook.f.) Cockayne & Allan, Trans. New Zealand Inst. 57: 40 (1926) subsp. hectorii
  • = Veronica laingii Cockayne, Rep. Bot. Surv. Stewart Island 44 (1909)
  • Hebe laingii (Cockayne) Andersen, Trans. New Zealand Inst. 56: 693 (1926)
  • Leonohebe laingii (Cockayne) Heads, Bot. Soc. Otago Newsl. 5: 8 (1987)
  • Hebe hectorii subsp. laingii (Cockayne) Wagstaff & Wardle, New Zealand J. Bot. 37: 33 (1999)
Lectotype (designated by Ashwin, in Allan 1961): near summit of Mt Anglem, Stewart Island, L. Cockayne 9157, CHR 333997. Isolectotypes: AK 107837, K, WELT 5305
Vernacular Name(s):
whipcord hebe

Leaves broader than long, mostly 1.7–3.1 mm, occasionally 1.2–1.7 mm long; apex obtuse to broadly rounded.


Leaves of V. hectorii subsp. hectorii are sub-acute, obtuse, or rounded, similar to those of the more northern subsp. coarctata, whereas V. hectorii subsp. demissa leaves have a short apiculus or mucro. The distinction is not clearcut in southern South Island, however, and plants with a very short mucro can be difficult to place. The distributions of subsp. demissa and subsp. hectorii appear to overlap, but typically subsp. demissa has a more eastern range, whereas most populations of subsp. hectorii are in the west of the region. See Bayly & Kellow (2006) for details.


South Island: Westland (south), Canterbury (in the west from Mt Cook southwards), Otago (west), Southland (west).

Stewart I. (Mt Anglem).


Montane to alpine grassland shrubland. Recorded elevations range from 330 to 1830 m.

Indigenous (Endemic)

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


In places, distinguishing subsp. hectorii from subsp. demissa is difficult because in some populations plants with apiculate leaves grow alongside plants with rounded leaf apices. Generally, subsp. demissa is eastern in the drier mountains of Otago and northern Southland, whereas subsp. hectorii occurs near and west of the main divide from about Aoraki / Mt Cook southwards.

Andersen, J. 1926: Popular names of New Zealand plants. Transactions of the New Zealand Institute 56: 659–714.
Bayly, M.J.; Kellow, A.V. 2006: An Illustrated Guide to New Zealand Hebes. Te Papa Press, Wellington. [as Hebe hectorii (Hook.f.) Cockayne & Allan subsp. hectorii; Hebe hectorii subsp. laingii (Cockayne) Wagstaff & Wardle; Hebe laingii (Cockayne) Andersen; Hebe laingii (Cockayne) Cockayne & Allan; Leonohebe laingii (Cockayne) Heads; Veronica laingii Cockayne]
Cockayne, L. 1909: Report on a Botanical Survey of Stewart Island. Government Printer, Wellington, N.Z.
Cockayne, L.; Allan, H.H. 1926: The present taxonomic status of the New Zealand species of Hebe. Transactions of the New Zealand Institute 57: 11–47.
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 laingii (Cockayne) Cockayne & Allan]
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. [Not Threatened]
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 hectorii (Hook.f.) Cockayne & Allan subsp. hectorii] [Not Threatened]
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.
Heads, M. 1987: New names in New Zealand Scrophulariaceae. Botanical Society of Otago Newsletter 5: 4–11.
Hooker, J.D. 1864: Handbook of the New Zealand Flora: a systematic description of the native plants of New Zealand and the Chatham, Kermadec's, Lord Auckland's, Campbell's and Macquarie's Islands. Part I. Reeve, London.
Wagstaff, S.J.; Wardle, P. 1999: Whipcord Hebes - systematics, distribution, ecology and evolution. New Zealand Journal of Botany 37(1): 17–39.