Culver’s root

(Veronicastrum virginicum)

Conservation Status
Culver’s root
  IUCN Red List

not listed


N4? - Apparently Secure

SNR - Unranked


not listed

Wetland Indicator Status
  Great Plains

FAC - Facultative


FAC - Facultative

  Northcentral & Northeast

FAC - Facultative


Culver’s root is a 32 to 79 tall, erect, perennial forb that rises from a taproot and creeping rhizomes.

The stem is erect; green; round in cross section; and hairless or sparsely covered with soft, long or short hairs. It is unbranched below the middle and usually branched above the middle. The stem somewhat depends on nearby vegetation for support and, lacking any, may flop over, especially on slopes.

The leaves appear in whorls of usually 4 or 5 but as few as 3 or as many as 7. They may be stalkless or on to long leaf stalks. The blade is lance-shaped to narrowly oblong, up to 4¾ long, and up to ¾ wide. It is tapered at the base and tapers to a point at the tip with concave sides along the tip. The upper surface is green and hairless. The lower surface is similar in color and is hairless to densely covered with long, soft, shaggy but unmatted hairs. The margins are finely toothed with sharp, forward pointing teeth.

The inflorescence is a cluster of several spike-like, unbranched clusters (racemes) at the end of the stem and branches. The racemes are arranged like a candelabra, with an erect, long, central raceme and several lateral, shorter, ascending racemes, all rising from the same point at the end of the stem. Each raceme is densely flowered, 2 to 6 long, slender, and tapered. The flowers bloom from the bottom upward and the raceme elongates as the season progresses.

The flowers are ¼ to long. There are 4 sepals, 4 petals, 2 stamens, and 1 style. The sepals are green, lance-shaped, and hairless. They are united at the base into a very short calyx tube then separated at the tip into 2 long lips. The upper lip has 2 lobes that are longer than the 2 or 3 lobes of the lower lip. Though anatomically the calyx has 2 lips, the calyx lobes are separated almost to the base, giving the appearance of 4 or 5 distinct sepals. The petals are usually white, sometimes pinkish. They are fused at the base and for most of their length into a narrow corolla tube then separated at the tip into 2 lips. The upper lip has 1 rounded lobe. The lower lip has 2 lateral lobes and a lower lobe. All of the lobes are rounded and about 1 16 long, much shorter than the tube. The stamens have white, up to ½ long filaments and brown anthers. They extend well beyond the corolla tube. The style is white and has a minute, 1-lobed stigma at the tip. It extends beyond the corolla tube but is shorter than the stamens.

The fruit is a narrowly egg-shaped, to 3 16 long capsule with many seeds. It is round in cross section, not flattened.




32 to 79


Flower Color




Similar Species

  No similar species  

Moist to moderate moisture. Woods, prairies. Full or partial sun.




June to September


Pests and Diseases






Distribution Map



2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 24, 28, 29, 30.









  Kingdom Plantae (green algae and land plants)  
  Subkingdom Viridiplantae (green plants)  
  Infrakingdom Streptophyta (land plants and green algae)  
  Superdivision Embryophyta (land plants)  
  Division Tracheophyta (vascular plants)  
  Subdivision Spermatophytina (seed plants)  
  Class Magnoliopsida (flowering plants)  
  Superorder Asteranae  


Lamiales (mints, plantains, olives, and allies)  


Plantaginaceae (plantain)  
  Tribe Veroniceae  
  Genus Veronicastrum (Culver’s roots)  
  Section Veronicastrum  



Leptandra virginica

Veronica virginica


Common Names





Culver’s root

tall speedwell













The group of outer floral leaves (sepals) below the petals, occasionally forming a tube.



A collective name for all of the petals of a flower.



On plants: The thread-like stalk of a stamen which supports the anther. On Lepidoptera: One of a pair of long, thin, fleshy extensions extending from the thorax, and sometimes also from the abdomen, of a caterpillar.



An unbranched, elongated inflorescence with stalked flowers. The flowers mature from the bottom up.



A horizontal, usually underground stem. It serves as a reproductive structure, producing roots below and shoots above at the nodes.

Visitor Photos

Share your photo of this plant.

  This button not working for you?
Simply email us at
Attach one or more photos and, if you like, a caption.

Alfredo Colon

    Culver’s root   Culver’s root  

Dan W. Andree


"Culver's Root"

I believe these tall slender spire like flowers are called Culver's Root.

  Culver’s root  


  Culver’s root  


    Culver’s root   Culver’s root  
    Culver’s root   Culver’s root  


    Culver’s root   Culver’s root  
    Culver’s root   Culver’s root  


    Culver’s root   Culver’s root  


    Culver’s root   Culver’s root  
    Culver’s root   Culver’s root  



  Veronicastrum virginicum 'album'
Susanne Wiik
  Veronicastrum virginicum 'album'  

Culver's root, Kransveronika

  Veronicastrum virginicum CULVER'S ROOT
Frank Mayfield
  Veronicastrum virginicum CULVER'S ROOT  



Visitor Videos

Share your video of this plant.

  This button not working for you?
Simply email us at
Attach a video, a YouTube link, or a cloud storage link.


Other Videos
  Culver's Root - Veronicastrum virginicum blooming at Ion Exchange

Uploaded on Aug 1, 2011

Earthyman views Culver's Root (Veronicastrum virginicum) in full bloom at Ion Exchange in Northeast Iowa

  Honeybee forages on Culver's-root in Marion County, Ohio USA
Robert Klips

Uploaded on Sep 4, 2009

Culver's-root, Veronicastrum virginicum, family Scrophulariaceae, is a perennial herb that occurs in prairies. Here at the Larry R. Yoder Prairie on OSU-Marion Campus, a honeybee forages for nectar on its blossoms on July 30, 2009.

  Veronicastrum virginicum, Culvers Root, Kandelaber Ehrenpreis,
Robert Jondalar

Published on Jul 11, 2012

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater




Visitor Sightings

Report a sighting of this plant.

  This button not working for you?
Simply email us at
Be sure to include a location.
  Alfredo Colon

Location: Woodbury, Minnesota

Culver’s root  
  Dan W. Andree

Location: Sandpiper Prairie SNA, Norman Co., MN

I believe these tall slender spire like flowers are called Culver's Root.

Culver’s root  






Last Updated:

© All rights reserved.

About Us

Privacy Policy

Contact Us