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Hebe salicifolia

27 Jul

Hebe salicifolia Flower (30/06/20012, Kew Gardends, London)

Hebe salicifolia Flower (30/06/20012, Kew Gardends, London)

Position: Full sun to partial shade

Flowering period: Summer

Soil: Moist, well drained

Eventual Height: 2m

Eventual Spread: 2m

Hardiness: 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b, 10a

Family: Plantaginaceae

Hebe salicifolia is a medium sized, evergreen shrub with a moderately upright habit. Its light green leaves are opposite, narrowly lance shaped with entire margins and up to 12cm long. Its white to pale blue flowers appear in drooping racemes.

Hebe salicifolia, commonly known as Willow Leaved Hebe, Shrubby Veronica or Koromiko, is native to the south island of New Zealand ans Chile. This plant has a history of medicinal use in its native New Zealand by the Maori. It was introduced into the UK in 1843, and has naturalized in some coastal areas. Hebe salicifolia is synonymous with Veronica salicifolia.

The etymological root of the binomial name Hebe is derived from the Greek Goddess of youth. Salicifolia is derived from the Latin folium meaning ‘leaf’, and salix, in reference to this plants leaves being similar that of the Willow genus.

The landscape architect may find  Hebe salicifolia useful as a medium sized ground cover plant and looks good when planted en mass. It is also suitable as an informal hedging species. It is moderately tolerant of pollution and will tolerate maritime conditions.

Hebe salicifolia (30/06/20012, Kew Gardends, London)

Hebe salicifolia (30/06/20012, Kew Gardends, London)

Ecologically, Hebe salicifolia is attractive to pollinating insects.

Hebe salicifolia prefers moist, well-drained soils. It prefers an alkali to neutral pH of soil. It will tolerate poor soils

Hebe salicifolia requires little maintenance. If necessary pruning should be carried out in mid to late spring, it should be noted that this may remove some flower buds as this shrub flowers on previous and current years growth.

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