Scientific Name:
Veronica subfulvida (G.Simpson & J.S.Thomson) Garn.-Jones in Garnock-Jones et al., Taxon 56: 579 (2007)
  • Hebe subfulvida G.Simpson & J.S.Thomson, Trans. & Proc. Roy. Soc. New Zealand 73: 163 (1943)
Lectotype (designated by Moore in Allan 1961): Pelorus Valley, stream banks, G. Simpson, CHR 76003. Isolectotype: CHR 76012
  • = Veronica menziesii var. divaricata Cheeseman, Man. New Zealand Fl. 512 (1906)
  • Hebe divaricata (Cheeseman) Cockayne & Allan, Trans. New Zealand Inst. 56: 20 (1926)
Lectotype (designated by Moore, in Allan 1961): Rai Valley, J. H. McMahon 49, AK 7909. Isolectotypes: WELT 47643
  • = Hebe corymbosa G.Simpson, Trans. Roy. Soc. New Zealand 79: 428 (1952)
Lectotype (designated by Bayly & Kellow 2004): From plant in cultivation, collected by Mr N. Potts at Dun Mt, Nelson, G. Simpson, Jan 1949, CHR 75693, two flowering pieces at top of sheet. Isolectotype: K
The epithet subfulvida is derived from the Latin prefix sub, meaning less than or somewhat, and fulvus, tawny or reddish yellow. Simpson and Thomson’s descriptions mention the brownish-yellow branches, and in the Latin, “rami seniores fulvi”.

Bushy shrub to 1.8 m tall. Stems spreading to erect, eglandular-puberulent; hairs usually bifarious, sometimes uniform. Leaf bud distinct, its leaves appressed at margins until fully grown; sinus acute. Leaves opposite-decussate or sometimes sub-distichous, erecto-patent to spreading; lamina coriaceous or rigid, lanceolate to elliptic (usually narrowly), sometimes oblanceolate, 6–39 mm long, 2.5–7.5 mm wide, dull or glossy, green or dark green above, paler beneath, midrib evident; surfaces glabrous or eglandular hairs along midrib above; margin glabrous and minutely papillate or minutely antrorse ciliolate, entire; apex acute to acuminate or weakly plicate-acuminate; base cuneate; petiole 0.8–4.5 mm long. Inflorescence a lateral, usually compound, occasionally ternate or simple, raceme, 10–60 mm long; flowers crowded, 24–88, all bisexual; bracts alternate or sometimes the lowermost opposite, lanceolate to ovate to oblong, usually >, sometimes ≤ pedicels; pedicels erect to erecto-patent, 0.5–4.0 mm long, usually shortly eglandular-hairy all around, sometimes almost glabrous. Calyx lobes 4–5, 5th lobe small, posterior, obtuse to sub-acute, occasionally emarginate, 1.5–2.0 mm long, sub-equal, mixed glandular- and eglandular-ciliolate. Corolla 6–10 mm diameter; tube white, 2.1–4.3 mm long, >calyx, hairy inside; lobes 4, white, pink, or pale purplish, sub-erect to spreading, sub-equal, elliptic to ovate to sub-orbicular, 2.5–4.5 mm long, obtuse; nectar guides absent. Stamen filaments white or pink, 3.5–5.5 mm long; anthers pink or pale purplish; style glabrous, 4.5–8.5  mm long. Capsules latiseptate, acute, glabrous, 2.9–4.5 mm long, 1.9–3.2 mm at widest point. Seeds broad ellipsoid to discoid, flattened, smooth, dark brown or orange-brown, 1.2–2.0 mm long.


Most plants of V. subfulvida can be recognised by the narrow leaves and dense, compound racemes. In these features they resemble V. diosmifolia plants, which may be distinguished by their usually incised leaf margins, some flowers on every plant having the anterior calyx lobes fused for some or all of their length, and their distribution in the northern North Island.

In Marlborough the distinction between V. brachysiphon and V. subfulvida becomes unclear, but, in general, plants with simple inflorescences and stout elliptic leaves are determined as V. brachysiphon, while those with branching inflorescences and thinner, narrowly elliptic leaves are determined as V. subfulvida. The two differ in chromosome number. Some specimens of V. subfulvida with unusually broad leaves and simple inflorescences may be hard to distinguish from V. brachysiphon, but unbranched inflorescences are rare and on every plant some inflorescences are branched.

V. baylyi plants have more glaucescent leaves than V. subfulvida plants, unbranched inflorescences, and their corolla tubes are glabrous.

Plants of V. brachysiphon and V. venustula have broader leaves, simple or rarely tripartite inflorescences, and different chromosome numbers; also V. venustula plants are found only in the North Island and V. brachysiphon mostly occurs in south and east Marlborough and in Canterbury.

Plants of V. subfulvida can frequently be found growing with V. leiophylla, which can usually be distinguished by the uniformly puberulent stems, simple and often longer inflorescences, and short, broad, leaf bud sinus.


South Island: Western Nelson (northern parts), Sounds Nelson (Rangitoto ki te Tonga / D’Urville I., western ranges), Westland (Nelson Lakes National Park only).


Rock outcrops and gorges, scrub and forest margins, lowland to montane, occasionally sub-alpine. Recorded elevations range from 10 to 1300 m.

Indigenous (Endemic)

It is possible that some of the variation might be explained by hybridisation, e.g., with V. baylyi on the mineral belt of the Richmond Range and Bryant Range of Nelson, and perhaps with V. brachysiphon in Marlborough.


Flowers: December–February (occasionally March); fruits: January–May, persisting to October.


2n = 80 (see Bayly & Kellow 2006, as Hebe divaricata).


Veronica subfulvida is classified in V. subg. Pseudoveronica sect. Hebe and the informal group “Apertae” (small-leaved) (Albach & Meudt 2010; Bayly & Kellow 2006).

Plants in north-west Nelson are generally larger and have large, extensively branched inflorescences. Plants in the Richmond Range and Marlborough Sounds can have sparingly branched inflorescences and are then sometimes difficult to distinguish from V. baylyi and V. brachysiphon.

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. 2004: Lectotypification of names of New Zealand members of Veronica and Hebe (Plantaginaceae). Tuhinga, Records of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa 15: 43–52.
Bayly, M.J.; Kellow, A.V. 2006: An Illustrated Guide to New Zealand Hebes. Te Papa Press, Wellington. [as Hebe corymbosa G.Simpson; Hebe divaricata (Cheeseman) Cockayne & Allan; Hebe subfulvida G.Simpson & J.S.Thomson; Veronica menziesii var. divaricata Cheeseman]
Cheeseman, T.F. 1906: Manual of the New Zealand Flora. Government Printer, Wellington.
Cockayne, L.; Allan, H.H. 1926: A proposed new botanical district for the New Zealand region. Transactions of the New Zealand Institute 56: 19–20.
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 divaricata (Cheeseman) 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 divaricata (Cheeseman) Cockayne & Allan] [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.
Simpson, G. 1952: Notes on some New Zealand plants and descriptions of new species (No. 5). Transactions of the Royal Society of New Zealand 79: 419–435.
Simpson, G.; Thomson, J.S. 1943: Notes on some New Zealand plants and descriptions of new species. Transactions and Proceedings of the Royal Society of New Zealand 73: 155–171.