Information – Books

There are about eighty books available on aspects of Hebes, New Zealand native plants and New Zealand native trees. Some may be out of print, but can be obtained from a number of second-hand book specialists, see bottom of page.

These are the books that I rate most highly.


Gardening with Hebes

Gardening With Hebes, Chris and Valerie Wheeler, Guild of Master Craftsman, UK, 2002, ISBN 1-86108-291-6. 150 pages, 11 × 8 in, illustrated with 154 excellent colour photographs, 10 colour drawings, 14 line drawings. All aspects of gardening with hebes are covered, both in text and pictures. There are planting schemes for hebes in beds and containers, also suggestions for hebes as ground cover, hedges or for use in topiary. Finally a hundred hebes are described; many of these are illustrated. An ideal introduction to this fascinating genus.

Hebes and Parahebes

Hebes and Parahebes, Douglas Chalk, Christopher Helm, UK, 1988, ISBN 0-7470-0410-2 (also published in New Zealand, 0-908563-21-3, and USA, ISBN 0-88192-124-6). 152 pages, 9 × 6 in, illustrated with 33 line drawings, 8 colour plates (60 hebes, 1 parahebe). This was the first book on hebes and parahebes, and was written by our former Chairman. The plant descriptions are listed alphabetically, and there is a paragraph on each. This book is now out of print.

Hebes Here and There

Hebes Here and There, Graham Hutchins and Patricia Davies, privately published by Hutchins and Davies, United Kingdom, 1997, ISBN 0-9530940-0-6. 320 pages, 9.5 × 6.5 in, illustrated with 6 colour photographs on cover, and many excellent line drawings of hebes. Written by a Vice President of the Hebe Society, who devotes between half a page and a page to most hebes. The species and their close allies are grouped in sections, so that closely related hebes are near one another. The hybrids are arranged in alphabetical order.

International Register of Hebe Cultivars

International Register of Hebe Cultivars, L J Metcalf, Royal New Zealand Institute of Horticulture, New Zealand, 2001, ISBN 0-9597756-4-1. 232 pages, 8 × 5.5 in, illustrated with 17 colour photographs, 4 b/w photographs or diagrams. Written by a Vice President of the Hebe Society. About a thousand hebes are covered in various levels of detail. The most recent references seem to be 1997. There are also sections on Hebe as a garden plant, and on its origins and evolution.

Hebes, A Guide to Species, Hybrids and Allied Genera

Hebes, A Guide to Species, Hybrids and Allied Genera, Lawrie Metcalf, Timber Press, ISBN 0-88192-773-2, 308 pages, 9 × 7 in, illustrated with 133 colour photographs, 17 b&w drawings. Written by a Vice President of the Hebe Society. The genus Hebe is a treasure trove of more than 100 species and subspecies of medium sized to dwarf evergreen shrubs with outstanding ornamental features. This book provides a wealth of information about the native habitats, preferred growing conditions, cultivation and an A–Z guide to all known species and most horticulturally valuable hybrids.

Hebes, An Illustrated Guide to New Zealand Hebes

An Illustrated Guide to New Zealand Hebes, Bayly and Kellow, Te Papa Press, New Zealand, 2005, ISBN 0-909010-12-9, 350 pages, 11 × 8 in, illustrated with 100 full-page colour plates and distribution maps, hardcover. A complete guide to hebe species growing in the wild.

For each species, the book has two pages of detailed information, photographs, and distribution maps. General chapters discuss evolution, reproductive biology, conservation, and other topics.


New Zealand Plants

Cultivation of New Zealand Plants

Cultivation of New Zealand Plants, Lawrie Metcalf, Godwit, New Zealand, 1993, 0-908877-23-4. 260 pages, 10 × 7 in, illustrated with 100 line drawings, 200 colour photographs. Information on the identification and cultivation of over 360 species of New Zealand plants is given. The illustrations are of a very high standard. This is a companion volume to Lawrie’s ‘The Cultivation of New Zealand Trees and Shrubs’.

Field Guide to Wild Plants of Mount Cook National Park

Field Guide to Wild Plants of Mount Cook National Park , Hugh D Wilson, Field Guide Publications, New Zealand, 1978. 294 pages, 7.5 × 4.5 in, illustrated with 544 line drawings. This well illustrated book is useful throughout the South Island. It covers both native and introduced plants. There is a more recent edition.

Flora of New Zealand

Flora of New Zealand, Volume 1, H H Allan, R E Owen, New Zealand, 1961. 1149 pages, 8 × 5 in, illustrated with 48 line drawings. This volume covers all native ferns, conifers and dicotyledons. The description of each plant is highly detailed, and quite technical. This book, together with Volume 2 for monocotyledons, has been the gold standard of New Zealand botany for the last forty years.

Forest Vines to Snow Tussocks

Forest Vines to Snow Tussocks, John Dawson, Victoria University Press, New Zealand, 1988, ISBN 0-86473-047-0. 264 pages, 9 × 7 in, illustrated with 124 b/w photographs and 2 colour photographs. A readily accessible and recent guide to the many plant communities of New Zealand and Subantarctic Islands.

Gardener’s Encyclopaedia of New Zealand Native Plants

Gardener’s Encyclopaedia of New Zealand Native Plants, Yvonne Cave and Valda Paddison, a Godwit book published by Random House, New Zealand, 1999, ISBN 1-86962-043-7. 320 pages, 11 × 8 in, illustrated with over 1000 photographs. The photographs and text are separate; the text is arranged by habitat (trees shrubs and climbers, herbaceous plants, ferns - the first two categories are further divided by size). The text is arranged alphabetically. This book is an armchair exploration of New Zealand native plants and their cultivars. You will soon find yourself booking a flight to New Zealand!

New Zealand Alpine Plants

New Zealand Alpine Plants, A F Mark and Nancy Adams, A H and A W Reed, New Zealand, 1973, ISBN 0-589-01063-8. 265 pages, 8 × 8.5 in, illustrated with many fine colour drawings. Each plant is described, along with information on its distribution and habit. This book is regarded by many as the definitive book on New Zealand alpines; it has been recently revised.

New Zealand Coast and Mountain Plants

New Zealand Coast and Mountain Plants, John Dawson and Rob Lucas, Victoria University Press, New Zealand, 1996, ISBN 0-86473-310-0. 176 pages, 10 × 7 in, illustrated with 180 colour photographs, which vary in size between a quarter page and two pages. A very readable introduction to both native and introduced plants, on both the main islands and the Subantarctic Islands. The many photographs are of great beauty.

Ghosts of Gondwana

Ghosts of Gondwana, George Gibb, Craig Potton Publishing, New Zealand, 2006, ISBN 1-877333-48-4. 231 pages, 9.5 × 7 in, illustrated with colour photographs and diagrams. The history of life in New Zealand. Have you ever wondered why New Zealand’s plants and animals are so different from those in other countries? A readable introduction to the remarkable story of how and why life evolved in New Zealand.

New Zealand Trees and Shrubs

New Zealand Trees and Shrubs, L J Metcalf, Reed Methuen, New Zealand, revised edition 2000, ISBN 0-7900-0662-6. 408 pages, 10 × 7 in, illustrated with line drawing, b/w photographs and colour photographs. The book has information on the identification and cultivation of over 600 species of New Zealand plants.

New Zealand Trees

Gardening with Hebes

Field Guide to New Zealand's Native Trees, John Dawson & Rob Lucas, Craig Potton Publishing, New Zealand, 2012, ISBN 978-1-877517-82-2. 436 pages, 8 × 7 in, illustrated with 1,500 high quality colour photographs. This comprehensive book has information on the identification of all New Zealand native trees.

Hebes and Parahebes

New Zealand's Native Trees, John Dawson & Rob Lucas, Craig Potton Publishing, New Zealand, 2011, ISBN 978-1-877517-01-3. 576 pages, 12 × 9 in, illustrated with more than 2,300 high quality colour photographs. This book is comprehensive and well illustrated. More than 320 species, subspecies and varieties are described.

Hebes Here and There

Wardle's Native Trees of New Zealand and their Story, John Wardle, published by NZ Farm Forestry Association, 2011, ISBN 978-1-877520-06-8. 398 pages, 12 × 8 in. This book is an easy-to-read, but all-encompassing account of New Zealand's native trees with over 300 full colour photographs. The text includes botanical and ecological characteristics of all 233 species of native trees, describing form and dimensions as well as foliage, flowers and fruit.


Books in print should be available from your local bookseller.

The best selection of gardening books in the UK is at:

The Wisley Bookshop
RHS Garden
Surrey, GU23 6QB
tel 01483 211320
fax 01483 212447
Mail Order On-line

Books out of print in the UK may be available from one of the following:

C Arden
Radnor House, Church Street
Hereford, HR3 5DQ
tel 01497 820471
fax 01497 820498

Lloyds of Kew
9 Mortlake Terrace
Kew, Richmond
Tel 020 8948 2556
Lloyds of Kew

Mike Park Books
137 Grand Drive
Raynes Park
London, SW20 9LY
tel 020 8641 7796
Mark Park Books

NHBS Environment Bookstore
2–3 Wills Road
Tel: +44 (0)1803 865913
Fax: +44 (0)1803 865280
You may search this website for books covering all aspects of New Zealand’s natural history

Good contacts in New Zealand are:

Te Papa – Museum of New Zealand
Physical address: Cable Street, Wellington, New Zealand
Post: PO Box 467, Wellington, New Zealand
tel +64 (0)4 381 7000
fax +64 (0)4 381 7070

Random House New Zealand
Street Address
18 Poland Road
New Zealand
Postal Address
Private Bag 102950
North Shore Mail Centre
New Zealand
tel (09) 444-7197
fax (09) 444-7524
Customer Services
Random House New Zealand has a strong commitment to publishing New Zealand books for the New Zealand market

Smith’s Bookshop
133 Manchester Street
New Zealand
Second hand books by mail order

Manaaki Whenua Press
PO Box 40, Lincoln 7640
tel +64 3 321 9749
fax +64 3 321 9997
Manaaki Whenua Press produces and distributes New Zealand natural history and science publications.

Potton & Burton
The Schoolhouse
319 Hardy Street, Nelson, New Zealand

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