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A shrub 4 to 8 ft high with stout glabrous branches; leaf-bud without sinus. Leaves 21⁄2 to 6 in. long, 1⁄2 to 11⁄4 in. wide, elliptic, oblong-elliptic, or oblong lanceolate, acute at the apex, dark green, almost glabrous, rather leathery in texture. Flowers white in simple racemes 3 to 6 in. long; bracts small, shorter than the pedicels. Calyx-lobes broad-oblong, obtuse or acute in the same flower. Corolla 1⁄4 in. or slightly more wide at the mouth; tube broad, twice as long as the calyx; corolla-lobes rounded at the apex, longer than the tube. Capsules glabrous, 1⁄4 to almost 1⁄2 in. long, much longer than the calyx.
Native of the North Island of New Zealand. A very striking species but also very tender.
† H. obtusata (Cheesem.) Ckn. & Allan – Allied to H. macrocarpa, this differs in being a low spreading shrub and also, from the typical variety, in its lavender-coloured flowers. A native of the west coast of North Island, it is doubtfully hardy outside the milder parts. In its native habitat it flowers from around midsummer to midwinter, but in the form introduced by Graham Hutchins from the Christchurch Botanic Garden bears its main crop in spring.
Plants with lavender-coloured flowers found in one locality of North Island in 1926 are near to H. obtusata but probably hybrids. They were described by Petrie under the name Veronica × bishopiana.
V. speciosa var. brevifolia Cheesem
V. latisepala Kirk