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Cladus: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Divisio: Magnoliophyta
Classis: Magnoliopsida
Ordo: Lamiales
Familia: Plantaginaceae
Tribus: Veroniceae
Genus: Hebe
Species: H. saxicola , H. venustula ...

Hebe (pronounced /ˈhiːbiː/)[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.

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.

About 90-100 species, including:

* Hebe acutiflora
* Hebe albicans
* Hebe amplexicaulis
* Hebe armstrongii
* Hebe barkeri
* Hebe brachysiphon
* Hebe breviracemosa
* Hebe brevifolia
* Hebe buchananii
* Hebe canterburiensis
* Hebe carnosula
* Hebe chathamica
* Hebe cheesmannii
* Hebe ciliolata
* Hebe colensoi
* Hebe cupressoides
* Hebe decumbens
* Hebe dieffenbachii
* Hebe diosmifolia
* Hebe elliptica
* Hebe epacridea
* Hebe gibbsii
* Hebe glaucophylla
* Hebe gracillima
* Hebe haastii
* Hebe hectorii
* Hebe hulkeana
* Hebe lavaudiana
* Hebe leiophylla
* Hebe ligustrifolia
* Hebe lycopodioides
* Hebe macrantha
* Hebe matthewsii
* Hebe obtusata
* Hebe ochracea
* Hebe odora
* Hebe parviflora
* Hebe pauciramosa
* Hebe pimeleoides
* Hebe pinguifolia
* Hebe propinqua
* Hebe rakaiensis
* Hebe raoulii
* Hebe recurva
* Hebe salicifolia
* Hebe salicornioides
* Hebe speciosa
* Hebe stricta
* Hebe subalpina
* Hebe subsimilis
* Hebe tetragona
* Hebe tetrasticha
* Hebe topiaria
* Hebe traversii
* Hebe trisepala
* Hebe venustula
* Hebe vernicosa

References and external links

1. ^ Sunset Western Garden Book, 1995:606–607

* 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.

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Source: Wikispecies: All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License