Cypress hebe Veronica cupressoides

Key Features

  • Previously known as Hebe cupressoides.
  • A rounded, greyish-green, bushy shrub to 1.5 m tall, with densely-branching, slim, erect branches bearing scale leaves that are widely spaced along the branchlets.
  • Scale leaves have a turpentine smell when crushed.
  • Small, white or light purple flowers occur in clusters at the tips of branchlets.
  • Seedlings have toothed leaves that are larger than the scale leaves of adults.

Distribution and Habitat

  • South Island, east of the Main Divide from Lewis Pass to Otago.
  • Veronica cupressoides occurs in montane shrublands in a variety of habitats including those that have been recently disturbed by flooding or slips as well as more stable habitats such as rock outcrops, bouldery moraines and terraces.


  • Habitat modification and loss.
  • Fire.
  • Recruitment failure due to competition with weeds and grasses, and browse by stock, rabbits and hares.

Management Opportunities

  • Survey for new locations.
  • Mark known sites.
  • Protection of habitat – avoid afforestation of known sites.
  • Collect seed for propagation and re-establishment at appropriate sites.
  • Ensure that forest owners are aware of potential habitats and can recognise the species.

Monitoring Options

  • Check existing populations annually.
  • Report new locations to DOC, NZPCN.

Further Information and Support

  • New Zealand Plant Conservation Network (NZPCN).
  • Pest control - Department of Conservation, Regional Councils.
  • References:
    • Dopson et al. (1999). The conservation requirements of New Zealand’s nationally threatened vascular plants. Threatened Species Occasional Publication 13. Department of Conservation, Wellington.
    • Poole & Adams (1994). Trees and shrubs of New Zealand. Maanaki Whenua Press, Lincoln.
    • Wilson & Galloway (1993). Small-leaved shrubs of New Zealand. Manuka Press, Christchurch.
    • Wilson & Given (1989). Threatened plants of New Zealand. DSIR Publishing, Wellington.
    • Peter de Lange, Peter Heenan, David Norton, Jeremy Rolfe and John Sawyer (2010). Threatened Plants of New Zealand. Canterbury University Press, Christchurch. 472 pp.