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Hebe × andersonii ‘Variegata’, photo courtesy of Laura Dunkin-Hubby
Hebe × andersonii ‘Variegata’, photo courtesy of Laura Dunkin-Hubby

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Zones 14-24
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Moderate

Hebe x andersonii


Evergreen, Shrubs

HEBE

These are New Zealand natives closely related to Veronica and occasionally still sold under that name. (Hebes are shrubs, Veronicas are perennials.) Most types are grown mainly for attractive form and foliage (neat pairs of opposite leaves); some give good flower display in summer, and a few produce a scattering of bloom throughout the year. Most are fast growing.

All do best in cool-summer, mild-winter climates—in the San Francisco area, for example. Dry summer heat and winter frosts shorten their lives. Larger-leafed types are more susceptible to winter damage. Very prone to root rot if drainage is anything less than excellent. Take seacoast conditions. Prune after bloom, shortening stems that have flowered by about half to keep plants compact and bushy. Rejuvenate ragged plants by cutting back severely; they’ll resprout easily from old, leafless wood.

Hebe x andersonii

Mounding, compact plant to 5–6 ft. tall and wide, with fleshy, deep green leaves. Flowers are white at base, violet at tip, carried in 2–4 in. spikes. ‘Variegata’ has white-bordered leaves.

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