Scientific Name:
Veronica saxicola (de Lange) Heenan, New Zealand J. Bot. 50: 88 (2012)
  • Hebe saxicola de Lange in de Lange & Rolfe, New Zealand J. Bot. 46: 534 (2008)
Holotype: New Zealand, North Island, Kaipara Ecological Region and District, Maunga-raho Rock, P. J. de Lange 3167 & I. McFadden, 7 Nov 1996, AK 230137. Isotype: WELT SP82009
The epithet refers to the rock outcrop habitat where the plants are found (de Lange & Rolfe 2008), and is derived from Latin saxosis (stony places, Stearn 2004).

Compact shrub to 1 m tall. Stems erect, usually glabrous, rarely bifarious-puberulent. Leaf bud distinct, its leaves appressed at margins until fully grown; sinus absent. Leaves opposite-decussate, erecto-patent to spreading; lamina coriaceous, lanceolate to elliptic or broadly elliptic to oblanceolate, 25–80 mm long, 8–24 mm wide, dull, olive-green or dark green above, pale green beneath; midrib and (rarely) faint secondary veins evident; surfaces glabrous except for minute eglandular hairs near base above; margin glabrous, entire; apex acute; base cuneate; petiole indistinct, winged, 2–4 mm long. Inflorescence a lateral raceme, 20–120 mm long; flowers crowded, 20–130, all bisexual; bracts alternate, linear-lanceolate to lanceolate, < pedicels; pedicels erecto-patent to spreading, 2–5, rarely to 8 mm long, minutely puberulent all around. Calyx lobes 4, acute, 2.3–3.5 mm long, sub-equal, glabrous or minutely glandular-hairy on faces, mixed glandular- and eglandular ciliolate. Corolla 5–8 mm diameter; tube white, 1.0–1.5 mm long, < calyx, usually glabrous inside, rarely a few hairs near the base; lobes 4, pale purplish, fading white, erect to sub-erect, sub-equal, broadly lanceolate to ovate, 4.2–6.3 mm long, sub-acute or bluntly acute; nectar guides absent. Stamen filaments 8–14 mm long; anthers pale purplish. Style glabrous, 8–12 mm long. Capsules latiseptate, acute to obtuse, glabrous, 3.5–4.3 mm long, 3.2–3.9 mm at widest point. Seeds ovate to discoid, flattened, slightly papillate, pale brown, 1.4–1.8 mm long.

Comparison of Veronica adamsii, V. macrocarpa, V. perbella, and V. saxicola, 4 similar species that all occur in Northland. This table is based on a more detailed one presented by de Lange P.J. & J.R. Rolfe (2008), New Zealand Journal of Botany 46: 531–545 (as Hebe).





Stem hairs

uniformly to bifariously puberulent or glabrous

uniformly to bifariously puberulent


usually glabrous or rarely bifarious-puberulent

Leaf bud sinus





Lamina (above)





Calyx colour

dark green or bronze-green


pink, reddish, violet, or red- to brown-green

yellowish- to dark green

Calyx lobes outer surface

minute sessile glands

glabrous or eglandular-puberulent

minute sessile glands

minute sessile glands

Corolla colour

white to mauve, rarely violet

white, rarely lilac, sometimes tinged lilac or pink

violet-red, violet, pink, deep mauve, very rarely carmine

pale lavender (rarely lilac)

Corolla tube

≤ calyx; hairy inside

> calyx; hairy inside

≤ calyx; hairy inside

< calyx; glabrous inside

Corolla lobes


obtuse to rounded


subacute or bluntly acute




glabrous except for a few short hairs along septal grooves



far North, known only from four sites, all within 1 km2, west of Spirits Bay

southern Northland from Whangārei and southern Kaipara Harbour southwards to South Auckland, Coromandel, and near Kawhia

western Northland between Ahipara and Waima Forest

known only from Maungaraho Rock, near Dargaville


North Island: Auckland (Maungaraho Rock only, about 14 km south-east of Dargaville, only).


Open surfaces on rock outcrops: cliffs, ledges, crevices, sometimes in fringes of scrub and often with large plants of Astelia solandri, Collospermum hastatum, Dianella nigra, and grasses. Recorded elevations range from 120 to 221 m.

Indigenous (Endemic)

Flowers: September–November; fruits: December–February.


2n = 40 (see de Lange & Rolfe 2008, as Hebe saxicola).


Veronica saxicola is classified in V. subg. Pseudoveronica sect. Hebe and the informal group “Occlusae” (Albach & Meudt 2010; Bayly & Kellow 2006). It was included under V. perbella by Bayly and Kellow (2006, as Hebe perbella).

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.; 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 saxicola de Lange] [Nationally Critical]
de Lange, P.J.; Rolfe, J.R. 2008: Hebe saxicola (Plantaginaceae) - a new threatened species from western Northland, North Island, New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Botany 46: 531–545.
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 Critical]
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 saxicola de Lange] [Nationally Critical]
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. [as Hebe saxicola de Lange]
Heenan, P.B. 2012: Taxonomic notes on the New Zealand flora: new names in Veronica (Plantaginaceae). New Zealand Journal of Botany 50(1): 87–88.
Stearn, W.T. 2004: Botanical Latin. Edition 4. Timber Press, Portland.