Hebe (genus)

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Hebe
Scrophulariaceae hebe 'waireka'.jpg
Hebe 'Waireka'
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Lamiales
Family: Plantaginaceae
Genus: Hebe
Species

See text

Hebe /ˈhb/[1] is a genus of plants native to New Zealand, Rapa in French Polynesia, the Falkland Islands, and South America. It includes about 90 species and is the largest plant genus in New Zealand. Apart from H. rapensis (endemic to Rapa), all species occur in New Zealand. This includes the two species, H. salicifolia and H. elliptica, that have distributions extending to South America. The genus is named after the Greek goddess of youth, Hebe. There are differing classifications for the genus and some botanists include Hebe, together with the related Australasian genera Chionohebe, Derwentia, Detzneria, Parahebe, Heliohebe and Leonohebe, in the larger genus Veronica (hence its common name 'Shrubby veronica').

Hebe has four perpendicular rows of leaves in opposite decussate pairs. The flowers are perfect, the corolla usually has four slightly unequal lobes, the flower has two stamens and a long style. Flowers are arranged in a spiked inflorescence. Identification of Hebe species is difficult, especially if they are not in flower. The plants range in size from dwarf shrubs to small trees up to 7 metres, and are distributed from coastal to alpine ecosystems. Large-leaved species are normally found on the coast, in lowland scrub and along forest margins. At higher altitudes smaller-leaved species grow, and in alpine areas there are whipcord species with leaves reduced to thick scales.

Hebes are grown in many gardens and public areas; they attract butterflies. Hebes cope with most soil types, and can be propagated easily from both seed and cuttings. Wild Hebe hybrids are uncommon; however, there are many cultivated hybrids, such as Hebe × franciscana.

The Hebe Society, formed in 1985 under the auspices of the Royal Horticultural Society, promotes the cultivation and conservation of hebes and other New Zealand native plants.

Species[edit]

Hebe speciosa

About 90-100 species, including:

Cultivation[edit]

Hebes are valued in gardens in temperate climates as evergreen shrubs with decorative (sometimes variegated) leaves. The flowers, in shades of blue, purple, pink or white, appear throughout summer and autumn. Their ability to withstand salt-laden winds makes them especially suited to coastal areas, for instance the South West of England, where they are often grown as hedges. However, they are mostly half-hardy, so will not thrive in regions subject to prolonged freezing temperatures. Most prostrate varieties are quite hardy, and can be used as groundcover.[2][3] The following cultivars have gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit:-

  • 'Nicola's Blush'[12]
  • H. ochracea 'James Stirling'[13]
  • 'Oratia Beauty'[14]
  • 'Pascal'[15]
  • 'Pewter Dome'[16]
  • H. pimeloides 'Quicksilver'[17]      
  • H. pinguifolia 'Pagei'[18]
  • 'Pink Elephant'[19]
  • H. rakaiensis[20]

References and external links[edit]

  1. ^ Sunset Western Garden Book, 1995:606–607
  2. ^ Wheeler, Chris & Valerie (2002). Gardening with hebes. United Kingdom: Guild of Master Craftsmen. p. 160. ISBN 1861082916. 
  3. ^ Brickell, Christopher (2010). The RHS encyclopedia of plants & flowers. United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. p. 744. ISBN 1405354232. 
  4. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Hebe albicans'". Retrieved 20 June 2013. 
  5. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Hebe 'Blue Clouds'". Retrieved 20 June 2013. 
  6. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Hebe 'Emerald Gem'". Retrieved 20 June 2013. 
  7. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Hebe 'Great Orme'". Retrieved 20 June 2013. 
  8. ^ http://apps.rhs.org.uk/plantselector/plant?plantid=5996
  9. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Hebe 'Midsummer Beauty'". Retrieved 20 June 2013. 
  10. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Hebe 'Mrs Winder'". Retrieved 20 June 2013. 
  11. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Hebe 'Neil's Choice'". Retrieved 20 June 2013. 
  12. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Hebe 'Nicola's Blush'". Retrieved 20 June 2013. 
  13. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Hebe ochracea 'James Stirling'". Retrieved 20 June 2013. 
  14. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Hebe 'Oratia Beauty'". Retrieved 20 June 2013. 
  15. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Hebe 'Pascal'". Retrieved 20 June 2013. 
  16. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Hebe 'Pewter Dome'". Retrieved 20 June 2013. 
  17. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Hebe pimeloides 'Quicksilver'". Retrieved 20 June 2013. 
  18. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Hebe pinguifolia 'Pagei'". Retrieved 20 June 2013. 
  19. ^ http://apps.rhs.org.uk/plantselector/plant?plantid=4977
  20. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Hebe rakaiensis". Retrieved 20 June 2013. 
  21. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Hebe recurva 'Boughton Silver'". Retrieved 20 June 2013. 
  22. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Hebe 'Red Edge'". Retrieved 20 June 2013. 
  23. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Hebe 'Sapphire'". Retrieved 20 June 2013. 
  24. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Hebe 'Silver Queen'". Retrieved 20 June 2013. 
  25. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Hebe topiaria". Retrieved 20 June 2013. 
  26. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Hebe vernicosa". Retrieved 20 June 2013. 
  27. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Hebe 'Wiri Dawn'". Retrieved 20 June 2013. 
  28. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Hebe 'Youngii'". Retrieved 20 June 2013. 
  • Eagle, Audrey (1982). Eagle's Trees and Shrubs of New Zealand: Second Series. Auckland: Collins. ISBN 0-00-216532-5. 
  • Metcalf, Lawrie (2006). Hebes: A Guide to Species, Hybrids & Allied Genera. Portland, Oregon: Timber Press. ISBN 0-88192-773-2. 
  • Bayly, Michael; Alison Kellow (2006). An Illustrated Guide to New Zealand Hebes. Wellington: Te Papa Press. ISBN 978-0-909010-12-6. 
  • Germplasm Resources Information Network: Hebe
  • The Hebe Society
  • Garnock-Jones, Phil; Albach, Dirk; Briggs, Barbara G. (2007). "Botanical names in Southern Hemisphere Veronica (Plantaginaceae): sect. Detzneria, sect. Hebe, and sect. Labiatoides". Taxon 56 (2): 571–582.