Veronica salicifolia (formally called Hebe salicifolia) is a fast-growing, spreading shrub. It provides good low shelter and is an excellent revegetation plant. V. salicifolia has showy white to pale lilac drooping flowers and willow-like foliage. Prefers moist soil. Trim after flowering in a garden setting. It has long narrow leaves and white flowers from December to May. Widespread throughout the South Island from sea level to the treeline. The Māori utilized the plant’s medicinal properties for centuries. The leaves were chewed to help cure diarrhoea and applied to the skin to aid ulcers and wounds. Koromiko is the general name for the Hebes in Te Reo and is shared over a range of New Zealand Veronica species.
Veronica salicifolia is a hardy plant but isn’t tolerant of shade and needs to be grown in full sun and in a sheltered area with well-drained soil. It can, however, tolerate wet areas and can often be found on the edge of bush and wetlands. Once established they have considerable drought and frost tolerance.
V. salicifolia is used in lower bank riparian edges where their roots can dry between rain events, but the soil stays damp. For more information about streamside and riparian edge planting, we recommend Lucas Associate’s Plant List and River & Stream Profiles Guide.