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This is very closely related to the well-known H. cupressoides, having the same small, scale-like leaves and bearing considerable resemblance in leaf and twig to a cypress. The leaves, however, are more closely set on the twigs, blunter and thicker; the plant is dwarfer (1 to 3 ft high), the seed-vessel is 1⁄8 in. long (1⁄12 in. in cupressoides) and of ovoid instead of obovoid shape. The flowers are white (pale blue in cupressoides), about 1⁄4 in. wide, produced in small clusters of four to eight near the end of the twigs.
Native of the South Island of New Zealand; cultivated in this country since about 1870, but was at first thought to be H. salicornoides (see below). It was also confused with H. cupressoides.
H. salicornoides (Hook, f.) Ckn. & Allan Veronica salicornoides Hook. f. – A sparsely branched erect shrub with rather fleshy stems. Leaves thin, closely appressed to the stem, very short (about 1⁄24 in. long), broadly rounded at the apex, the opposite pairs united for about half their length but not overlapping the pair above; the leaves appear to be decurrent onto the stems and hence to be much longer than they really are but the true node is marked by a faint horizontal line.
A native of the South Island of New Zealand. One of its habitats is the Wairau Gorge near Dunedin, and the figure in N. E. Brown’s article in Gard. Chron., Vol. 3 (1888), pp. 20-1, fig. 3, was made from a herbarium specimen (preserved at Kew), collected in that locality by Travers in 1861. It is not known to be in cultivation. The plant sometimes seen in gardens under the name H. salicornoides aurea does not belong to this species and is near H. propinqua.