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An evergreen, subshrubby plant, 2 to 4 in. high, of tufted habit; branchlets slender, woody at the base only, glabrous, with leaves set twelve to sixteen to the inch. Leaves linear, 1⁄3 to 1 in. long, 1⁄16 to 1⁄6 in. wide, not toothed, bluntish at the tip, tapered at the base to a broad, membranous, flattened stalk, which clasps the stem and is margined with pale hairs. Flowers white, up to 1⁄2 in. wide, produced in May and June several together close to the ends of the shoots, each on a slender stalk 1⁄4 to 1 in. long. Corolla-tube very short, with four broad, spreading, veined lobes. Calyx deeply four-lobed.
Native of the South Island of New Zealand, up to altitudes of 4,500 ft. This is a charming dwarf plant for the rock garden, very hardy and covering itself with white flowers in May and June. The lower branches are procumbent and self-rooting. Although both Hooker and Cheeseman describe it as a herb, it is certainly woody at the base. The racemes are very distinct from those of the type common to the New Zealand hebes, the flowers being rarely more than four to a raceme, which may be 1 to 2 in. long, each blossom on a slender glabrous stalk which springs from the axil of a leaf-like bract and is one-third to half as long as the entire raceme.
† cv. ‘Blue Skies’. – Flowers larger than normal, lavender-violet with purple veining on the upper lobes. The original plant was found by L. J. Metcalf on Mount Owen in southern Nelson and introduced by him to the Christchurch Botanic Garden and later to Britain by Graham Hutchins.