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A prostrate or partially erect shrub with downy (sometimes very downy) and often dark-coloured young branches. Leaves closely set in four vertical rows, ovate, oval or obovate, 3⁄16 to 3⁄8 in. long, tapered towards both ends, concave, more or less glaucous, sometimes edged with red, stalkless and without leaf-bud sinus. Flowers purplish blue, 1⁄4 to 1⁄3 in. diameter, stalkless, produced during June, July, and August in solitary or branched, cylindrical spikes 3⁄4 to 2 in. long, the main-stalk of the spike very hairy. Corolla-tube very short. Capsules pointed, downy or glabrous. Bot. Mag., t. 8967.
Native of the South Island of New Zealand in dry places. It is a well-marked species but somewhat variable in the size and shape of the leaves and the degree of their glaucousness. In exposed habitats dwarf plants are found with leaves shorter and narrower than described above. The variety H. pimeleoides var. glaucocaerulea (J. B. Armstr.) Ckn. & Allan is probably only a part of the normal variation of the species, and plants grown under this name do not, in any case, agree with Armstrong’s specimens as described in Flora of New Zealand (Vol. 1, p. 923). The botanist N. E. Brown remarked eighty years ago that a plant he had seen in cultivation as V. glaucocaerulea differed in no way from Hooker’s type of H. pimeleoides (Gard. Chron., Vol. 8 (1890), p. 69).
H. pimeleoides is a very pleasing dwarf shrub, the purplish blue flowers contrasting admirably with the glaucous leaves. A charming combination of leaf-colour, habit, and shade of flower can be achieved by planting it with the hybrid ‘Carl Teschner’. It seems to dislike excessive wet and should be given a sunny position in light, well-drained gritty soil.
† cv. ‘Quick Silver’. – Leaves bright silvery-glaucous; spreading habit. Raised from seed by Graham Hutchins at the County Park Nursery, Hornchurch.
var. rupestris Ckn. & Allan – A more or less erect shrub to about 11⁄2 ft high, with somewhat larger leaves than in the typical state. Flowers pale mauve to white. A native of central Otago, growing on rocks.