T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Hebe epacridea

Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Lamiales
Family: Plantaginaceae
Genus: Hebe
Species: H. epacridea
Binomial name: Hebe epacridea (Veronica epacridea)
Synonyms: Veronica epacridea, Leonohebe epacridea, Hebe epacridea

Hebe epacridea is a native shrub which is endemic to New Zealand’s South Island’s mountains at altitudes above 900 m from the Marlborough Region to Otago. It is the highest growing plant in the Mt Cook National Park (c.884 metres asl). They are chiefly found on or east of the main divide. It grows in open alpine areas on broken rock and scree.
Hebe epacridea was first discovered in the Tarndale area by Andrew Sinclair just before he drowned on 26 March 1861 endeavouring to cross the flooded Rangitata River. He was the Colonial Secretary of New Zealand and was a renowned collector of New Zealand’s zoological and botanical specimens.

Hebe epacridea is a low-growing, evergreen, symmetrical species of shrub that can reach 0.4 m in height. It has erect stems that bear pairs of thick, closely placed, recurved, fleshy, rounded, reddish green or green leaves that are >9 mm long. There are usually dead leaves persisting at the base of the stems.
Two to eight white flowers appear on a compact, unbranched, terminal inflorescence during December - February (-April). Flowers on individual plants are either hermaphrodite or female.

Hebe epacridea growing in the hills near Lake Coleridge.
 

Hebe epacridea in flower at Mt Hutt. Photo courtesy of Alan Jolliffe. For more photos visit: http://www.alanjolliffe.com/


Hebe epacridea still carrying old brown flowerheads.


Thanks to Wikipedia for text and information: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/