is a genus comprising about 90 species of flowering plants in the family Plantaginaceae
, native to New Zealand, French Polynesia, Falkland Islands and South America. Hebe is the largest plant genus in New Zealand, and are distributed from coastal to alpine ecosystem. The genus is named after the Greek goddess of youth, Hebe.
Hebe species are dwarf shrubs to small trees, growing up to 7 m. The leaves are arranged in four perpendicular rows in opposite decussate pairs. The flowers are arranged in spiked inflorescence. The perfect flowers have four slightly unequal lobes, 2 stamens and a long style. Hebe makes a beautiful garden plant and can be used as ornamental plant, good in hedges, in containers, in rock gardens and in mixed borders. The flowers also attract pollinating insects like butterflies and bees.
Large-leaved species are normally found on the coast, in lowland scrub and along forest margins. Smaller-leaved species grow at higher altitudes, and in alpine areas there are whipcord species with leaves reduced to thick scales.
Plant Hebe in sun or partial shade, well-drained, neutral to alkaline soil. Propagation is by ripe seed or semi-ripe cuttings in late summer. Aphids, leaf spot and mildew are the pests and diseases for Hebe.
Hebe x franciscana