Gardening Magazine

Plant of the Week: Hebe Pinguifolia

By Davis Landscape Architecture @DavisLandArch

Hebe pinguifolia (18/11/2012, Kew Gardens, London)

Hebe pinguifolia (18/11/2012, Kew Gardens, London)

Position: Full sun to light shade

Flowering period: Late spring to early summer

Soil: Moist, well drained

Eventual Height: 45cm

Eventual Spread: 90cm

Hardiness: 7a – 10a

Family: Plantaginaceae

Hebe pinguifolia is an evergreen shrub with a dwarf, spreading habit. Its fleshy blue/ grey leaves are oval with entire margins, concave and up to 17mm long. Its white flowers appear in dense, short spikes.

Hebe pinguifolia, commonly known as Shrubby Veronica, is native to New Zealand.

The etymological root of the binomial name Hebe is derived from the Greek Goddess of youth. Pinguifolia is derived from the Latin pinguis meaning ‘fat’ and folium meaning ‘leaf’.

The landscape architect may find Hebe pinguifolia useful as an effective evergreen ground cover shrub. It will tolerate maritime conditions. It also tolerates atmospheric pollution.

Ecologically, Hebe pinguifolia flowers are attractive to pollinating insects.

Hebe pinguifolia Leaf (18/11/2012, Kew Gardens, London)

Hebe pinguifolia Leaf (18/11/2012, Kew Gardens, London)

The Royal Horticultural Society has given the variety Hebe pinguifolia ‘Pagei’ their prestigious Award of Garden Merit in 1993.

Hebe pinguifolia prefers moist, fertile, well-drained soils. It prefers a neutral to alkali pH of soil.

Hebe pinguifolia requires little maintenance.

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