Hebe 'Alicia Amherst'

Common Name: hebe 
Type: Broadleaf evergreen
Family: Plantaginaceae
Zone: 8 to 10
Height: 3.00 to 4.00 feet
Spread: 3.00 to 4.00 feet
Bloom Time: July to September
Bloom Description: Violet-purple
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Hedge
Flower: Showy
Leaf: Evergreen
Attracts: Butterflies
Other: Winter Interest
Tolerate: Deer


Winter hardy to USDA Zones 8-10. Plants will tolerate temperatures that occasionally dip to 15-20°F in winter. Best in full sun to part shade in moist well-drained loams. Root mulch helps retain even soil moisture.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Hebe (formerly included in the genus Veronica) is a genus containing more than 100 species and subspecies of medium to dwarf broadleaf evergreen shrubs which are native to New Zealand and generally noted for featuring outstanding foliage and showy flowers. A large number of hybrid plants have been produced over the years. In the U.S., hebes are primarily grown in the warm winter regions of California and along the coast in the Pacific Northwest.

Genus name honors the goddess of youth and cup-bearer to the gods.

‘Alicia Amherst’ (synonymous with H. ‘Veitchii’) is a purple-flowered hybrid cultivar that typically grows to 3-4’ tall and as wide. H. speciosa is one of its parents. Dark violet-purple flowers bloom in axillary spike-like racemes (each to 5” long) from late July to September. Glossy elliptic to elliptic-ovate dark green leaves (to 3-4” long) sometimes acquire light bronze-purple tones in winter.

Alicia Amherst (1865-1941) was an English horticulturist, garden designer and garden historian who wrote A History of Gardening in England published in 1895.


Watch for aphids and caterpillars. Downy mildew and various leaf spot diseases are also potential problems. Deer tend to avoid this plant.


Shrub border. Hedge. Specimen or small groups.