Veronica scopulorum


Veronica: Named after Saint Veronica, who gave Jesus her veil to wipe his brow as he carried the cross through Jerusalem, perhaps because the common name of this plant is 'speedwell'. The name Veronica is often believed to derive from the Latin vera 'truth' and iconica 'image', but it is actually derived from the Macedonian name Berenice which means 'bearer of victory'.
scopulorum: Grows on cliffs

Current Conservation Status

2018 - At Risk - Declining

Conservation status of New Zealand indigenous vascular plants, 2012
The conservation status of all known New Zealand vascular plant taxa at the rank of species and below were reassessed in 2012 using the New Zealand Threat Classification System (NZTCS). This report includes a statistical summary and brief notes on changes since 2009 and replaces all previous NZTCS lists for vascular plants. Authors: Peter J. de Lange, Jeremy R. Rolfe, Paul D. Champion, Shannel P. Courtney, Peter B. Heenan, John W. Barkla, Ewen K. Cameron, David A. Norton and Rodney A. Hitchmough. File size: 792KB

Previous Conservation Status

2012 - At Risk - Naturally Uncommon
2009 - At Risk - Naturally Uncommon
2004 - Threatened - Nationally Vulnerable


2012 - CD, PD, RR
2009 - CD


Veronica scopulorum (Bayly, de Lange et Garn.-Jones) Garn.-Jones



Brief Description

Low growing sparse shrub bearing pairs of oval blueish-green leaves inhabiting limestone rocks near Kawhia. Leaves m-shaped in cross section, to 55mm long by 16mm wide, with a blunt tip. Leaf bud with small gap between base of leaves and hollowed between ridges in cross section.

Flora Category

Vascular - Native

Structural Class

Dicotyledonous Trees & Shrubs


Hebe scopulorum Bayly, de Lange et Garn.-Jones


Endemic. North Island, western Waikato, south of Kawhia Harbour where it confined to limestone outcrops at the head waters of the Awaroa River and northern Taumatatotara Range.


Confined to exposed limestone bluffs and rock outcrops.


Compact shrub 0.4-0.8 x 0.4-0.8 m. Mature stems black or grey, encased in thick cork; young stems green to brown; leaf scars evident; indument pubescent and bifarious to uniform. Leaf bud as long as mature leaves; sinus evident, narrowly acute to broad. Petiole 2-8 mm. Leaves erecto-patent to patent; lamina linear-elliptic, elliptic to narrowly oblanceolate, subcoriaceous, m-shaped in cross section, 14-80 x 4-16 mm, apex plicate, subacute to acute; base cuneate; upper surface green to dark grebe, glossy, under sides glaucous, dull. Inflorescences 7-40-flowered, 1-5 mm long, lateral, compound, racemose with 1-2 branches at base. Flowers hermaphrodite, pale mauve at anthesis. Calyx 2.3-3.5 mm, 4-lobed; lobes lanceolate, ovate or elliptic. Corolla tube 3-4 x 1.5-2 mm, elliptic, lanceolate or oblong, subacute, suberect. Anthers apiculate, mauve, violet or white. Capsules 3.2-4.5 x 2-3 mm, pale to dark brown.

Similar Taxa

Veronica scopulorum is distinct from the much taller V. stricta var. stricta with which it sometimes grows. Veronica stricta var. stricta has larger willow-green lance-shaped leaves and flowers carried on long pendulous racemes.


(September-) October (-December)

Flower Colours

Violet / Purple,White


November - March

Propagation Technique

The Awaroa koromiko is scarce in cultivation and has proved tricky to maintain being very susceptible to fungal diseases. It dislikes humidity and does best in a free-draining, lime enriched, cool, damp, shady situation.


Habitat loss through weed invasion, forest degradation and goat and possum browse.

Chromosome No.

2n = 40

Endemic Taxon


Endemic Genus


Endemic Family


Life Cycle and Dispersal

Seeds are wind dispersed (Thorsen et al., 2009).

Where To Buy

Occasionally available from specialist native plant nurseries.

Cultural Use/Importance

Recent field surveys employing abseiling and rock climbing techniques have so far discovered many more plants than had been believed at two of the six main known sites. However, at all sites threats from weeds and browsing animals is continuing unabated.


Fact Sheet Prepared by P.J. de Lange (1 November 2009). Description based on Baylet et al. (2002) (2006) but see also Bayly & Kellow (2006)

References and further reading

Bayly M.; Kellow A. 2006: An Illustrated Guide to New Zealand Hebes.Te Papa Press: Wellington

Bayly, M.J.; Kellow, A.V.; Mitchell, K.A.; Markham, K.R.; de Lange, P.J.; Harper, G.E.; Garnock-Jones, P.J.; Brownsey, P.J. 2002: Descriptions and Flavonoid Chemistry of New Taxa in Hebe sect. Subdistichae (Scrophulariaceae). New Zealand Journal of Botany 40(4): 571-602

Thorsen, M. J.; Dickinson, K. J. M.; Seddon, P. J. 2009. Seed dispersal systems in the New Zealand flora. Perspectives in Plant Ecology, Evolution and Systematics 11: 285-309

This page last updated on 22 Feb 2016