Accepted name: Veronica speciosa
Rounded shrub to 2 m tall. Leaves 5-10 cm long, 3-5 cm wide, elliptic to oblong or slightly obovate, leathery, leaf bud with a sinus, entire. Flower clusters lateral, mostly about 10 cm or so long; summer to autumn. Flowers purplish red, beetrootcoloured. [H. imperialis hort., H. 'Imperialis']
The cultivar H. 'Purpurea' is sometimes listed but of unknown origin.
H. townsonii (Cheeseman) Ckn from New Zealand is a shrub to 2.5 m tall with upright, yellow-stemmed branches. Leaves linear-lanceolate, to 8 cm long,1 cm wide, leathery, entire, margins slightly rolled under, the under-surface with a distinctive row of angled domatia just inside the margin. Flower clusters to 10 cm or so long; spring. Flowers white, occasionally pale mauve.
Source: (2002). Scrophulariaceae. In: . Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 4. Flowering plants. Dicotyledons. Part 3. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.
Leaves mottled with shades of grey-green and dark green, the margin with an irregular cream line. [H. imperialis 'Variegata', H. 'Imperialis Variegata', H. 'Tricolor']
Recorded in catalogue of New Zealand nursery, Duncan and Davies, as early as 1926.