Hebe rakaiensis

8 Dec

Hebe rakaiensis flower (13/11/2011, London)

Hebe rakaiensis flower (13/11/2011, London)

Position: Full Sun to Partial Shade

Flowering Period: Summer

Soil: Well Drained, Moist

Eventual Height: 1m

Eventual Spread: 1.5m

Hardiness: 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b, 10a, 10b

Family:Plantaginaceae

Hebe rakaiensis is a dwarf, evergreen shrub with a bushy, hummock shaped growth habit. The leaves of the plant are glossy on the upper surface and are bright green in colour. They are spear-shaped, up to 2cm long and are paired simple leaves. The hermaphrodite white flowers are racemes or spikes of small 4 lobed tubular to salver shaped flowers and appear in summer.

Hebe rakaiensis, commonly known as the Rakai Hebe or Shrubby Veronica, is native to New Zealand, Rapa in French Polynesia, the Falkland Islands and South America.

Hebe rakaiensis (13/11/2011, London)

Hebe rakaiensis (13/11/2011, London)

The etymological root of the binomial name Hebe is derived from the Greek Goddess of youth. Rakaiensis is a Latinized term meaning ‘from the Rakai Valley’ in New Zealand. 

Hebe rakaiensis may be useful to the landscape architect as a low growing evergreen shrub. It may be clipped to a low formal hedge, similar to Box. It is suitable for planting in coastal locations and in dappled shade. It is tolerant of some pollution.

The Royal Horticultural Society has given Hebe rakaiensis their prestigious award of Garden Merit in 1993.

Hebe rakaiensis prefers moist to well drained soil and can tolerate most soil pH levels although it prefers moderately alkali to neutral soils. It grows well in poor to moderately fertile soil.

Ecologically, Hebe rakaiensis is attractive butterflies and bees.

Hebe rakaiensis requires little maintenance.

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