Veronica nivea Hook.f.

A dwarf, procumbent veronica with stout, leafy stems and white flowers.

The identity of Macarthurs ‘Veronica sp. (New Zealand)’ is uncertain but is probably either Veronica nivea Hook.f., described here, or Veronica bidwillii Hook. which see.

Horticultural & Botanical History

‘[Veronica nivea Hook.f. is] A most distinct and well-marked fruticose species of Veronica, and very alpine in its locality.  The stems are, for the size of the plant, stout, procumbent, 4-6 inches long; the branches short, ascending, leafy.  Leaves closely placed. […] Corolla pure white. […] It is of this Veronica Mr. Bidwill speaks, when describing his ascent of Tongariro, in his Rambles in New Zealand: “A few patches of a most beautiful snow-white Veronica, which I first took for snow, were growing among the stones, but they ceased before I had ascended a third part of the way.”’  [HIP vol.7, t.604/1844].  

History at Camden Park

Listed in the 1850 and 1857 catalogues [T.986/1850].  Whatever the identity of ‘Veronica sp. (New Zealand)’ Macarthur certainly received his plants from John Bidwill and may well have grown this plant in his garden before the species was botanically described.


Parahebe nivea (Lindl.) M.Heads, synonyms Veronica nivea Lindl., Derwentia nivea (Lindl.) B.G.Briggs & Ehrend., is a species from Tasmania and not Macarthur’s plant.  [BR Misc. p. 42/1842].

Published Feb 18, 2010 - 04:24 PM | Last updated Aug 13, 2010 - 02:00 PM

The line drawing shows a dwarf plant with small leaves and upright flower spikes.  Hooker's Icones Plantarum v.7 t.640, 1844.

Veronica nivea Hook.f. | HIP vol.7, t.640/1844 | BHL

More details about Veronica nivea Hook.f.
Family Scrophulariaceae
Region of origin

New Zealand

  • Veronica hookeriana Walp.
Common Name
Name in the Camden Park Record

Veronica sp. (New Zealand)

Confidence level low