Hebe stricta var. stricta (Koromiko North Island)
Species: H, stricta var. stricta
Binomial name: Hebe stricta var. stricta
Synonyms: Veronica stricta, Veronica salicifolia var. stricta, Hebe salicifolia var. stricta, Veronica parkinsoniana, Hebe parkinsoniana, Veronica salicifolia var. longiracemosa, Hebe salicifolia var. longiracemosa, Veronica stricta var. stricta
Common name: Koromiko (Hebe salicifolia is also called Koromiko)
Hebe stricta is is endemic to New Zealand and is a fast growing shrub found throughout the North Island with long pale green leaves and long white spike flowers in summer. Its tiny flowers are compacted into dense Inflorescences longer than the leaves. The flowers are sweetly scented and vary in colour being lilac, mauve or white. Flowering occurs summer and autumn.
It prefers open habitats on forest margins and is a pioneer plant in forest revegetation. At 1-2 years It produces large numbers of tiny windborne seeds.
Koromiko has long been valued for its beneficial effects in cases of diarrhoea and dysentery. It was mentioned in “Martindale: The Extra Pharmacopoeia” 1895, listed as an import from New Zealand and used as a remedy for chronic dysentery and diarrhoea. Another early use describes liquid from boiling the leaves being used as a mouth-wash or gargle. During World War II koromiko leaves were sent overseas to NZ troops in North Africa where they were used effectively to treat dysentery.
Hebe stricta var. stricta it differs from var. atkinsonii by the calyx-lobes, bracts and usually capsules, being finely pubescent, with the racemes (and capsules) usually drooping.
The first two photos taken April Awakino Gorge.