One of the largest species (90 – 100) of evergreen shrubs, most of which are native to New Zealand, the Hebe includes many first-rate plants which can be used to excellent effect in the structure of a garden design. The genus includes plants with shrubby, tree-like, sprawling and compact habits. They are highly desirable for their abundant floral displays and attractive foliage. There is such a wide variety including really interesting and colourful cultivars, with specific form, colour of foliage and showy flower spikes, that there is a Hebe for every desired effect that you wish to create.
The flower colours range from purest white through shades of pink to deep magenta, blue, mauve, lilac, purple, and wine red or burgundy. The flowers smother the shrub in spring or summer and some species repeat their flowering period during a single season.
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The distinctive element in identifying the species is that the leaves, which have a leathery texture, grow oposite each other in pairs. Although Hebes are best suited to temperate climates, they are very forgiving and adaptable. They grow equally well in sun or shade in warm climates and prefer a sunny spot in cooler climates – as we all do! They like moist but well-drained soil and the broad-leafed types respond well to a trim once they have finished flowering. They do tend to get a bit woody if left untrimmed and although they will continue to flower, they will develop a straggly apearance - so feel free to cut them back.
The bigger-leafed species are more susceptible to frost and need some protection, especially when young. Some small leaf varieties are referred to as ‘whipcord’ Hebes (Hebe cupressoides) which have compressed, scale-like leaves resembling conifers. They have a dislike for intense heat and humidity so are better planted in the southern regions. They prefer a gritty, well-drained soil.
The genus is named after the Goddess Hebe. In Greek mythology, Hebe is the goddess of youth. She is the daughter of Zeus and Hera and was, prior to her marriage, the cup-bearer for the gods and goddesses of Mount Olympus, serving them nectar and ambrosia and heaven knows what else! So plant some Hebes and imagine that the Greek gods and goddesses have come to take up residence in your garden. You are sure to find a statue of Hebe to place in the midst of a group of the beautiful shrubs.
Native. This little mountain Hebe has a somewhat prostrate spreading habit and is an ideal rockery plant. The little leaves are rounded and grey green. White flower spikes appear from spring through to autumn. Needs a sunny spot and well drained to dry soil. Quite hardy. Evergreen.
Colour: White Habit: Spreading Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 30cm x 100cm
The Hebe Turkish Delight is a striking shrub which has deep purple-burgundy foliage. In the Spring and Summer it produces blue-mauve coloured flowers, these sit above the foliage on fine stems. Evergreen.
Colour: Mauve / Blue Habit: Compact Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 40cm x 50cm
Bred by Jack Hobbs from the Auckland Botanical Gardens this is a tolerant little Hebe with delightful bright pink flowers that smother the stems from early summer. Dainty small leaves that clip well. Plant in a sunny well drained position. Very easy care. Evergreen.
Colour: Pink Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 50cm x 60cm
An erect bushy shrub with long branches. Broad spear-shaped dark green glossy leaves. The large spikes of rich violet-purple flowers, they are dense and smother the bush, appearing in summer and autumn. It will grow in sun or semi-shade, best in well drained soil, will grow in dry sites. Grows in exposed and coastal sites, and will always look best in these conditions.
Colour: Purple Habit: Rounded Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 2m x 1m
Hebe Wiri Prince
Current Stock Height: 20/30 cm ?
Container: 2.5l ?
New stock arriving shortly. Pre-order now. Estimated price $18.99 each. Payment when stock arrives.
Native. A pretty free flowering little shrub with dainty evergreen foliage and myriads of little white blooms with a hint of lavender in the centre that will delight from spring to summer. Plant in a sunny spot with humus rich soil that doesn't completely dry out. Protect from harsh frost. Evergreen.
Colour: White / Mauve Habit: Spreading Est. Hgt/Wdth in 7/10 yrs: 25cm x 50cm
Current Stock Height: 5/10cm ?
Container: 2.5l ?
Current Stock Height: 15/20 cm ?
Container: 2l ?
New stock arriving beginning of November, 2019. Pre-order now. Estimated price $19.99 each. Payment when stock arrives.