common speedwell

(Veronica officinalis var. officinalis)

               
Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

not listed

LC - Least Concern

common speedwell

NatureServe

N4N5 - Apparently Secure to Secure

SNA - Not applicable

Minnesota

not listed

Wetland
Indicator
Status

Great Plains

UPL - Obligate upland

Midwest

UPL - Obligate upland

Northcentral & Northeast

FACU - Facultative upland

Weed Status

Not listed in Minnesota

Nativity

Native to Europe and Asia. Introduced and naturalized in North America.

Occurrence

Uncommon in Minnesota

Habitat

Dry. Abandoned fields, upland woodlands, roadsides, and disturbed areas.

Flowering

April to July

 
Flower Color

Light blue or lavender with dark veins

 
Height

2 to 10

 
 
Identification

Common speedwell is a common exotic weed. It is native to Europe and Asia. It was introduced into North America as an ornamental, escaped cultivation, and is now naturalized in two widely separated ranges. The eastern population extends from Maine to Minnesota south to North Carolina and Missouri, and in Canada from New Brunswick to Ontario. The western population extends from Washington and Oregon to Montana and Wyoming, and in Canada from British Columbia to Alberta.

Common speedwell is an erect, perennial forb that rises on a single stem from fibrous roots. The stem is up to 16 long, lies flat on the ground,and is slightly curved upward (ascending) at the tip. At intervals it produces a small swelling (node). Fibrous roots develop on the lower side of the node and single branch rises from the upper side. It often forms dense mats. The stem is green and is densely and uniformly covered with spreading, non-glandular hairs. The branches are erect or ascending, 2 to 10 tall, green, leafy, and densely and uniformly covered with spreading, non-glandular hairs.

The leaves are opposite, to 2 (15 to 50 mm) long, ¼ to 13 16 (6 to 30 mm) wide, about 1½ to 3 times as long as wide. The leaf blades are elliptic (widest at the middle) or inversely egg-shaped (widest slightly above the middle), angled to a short stalk at the base, and rounded or bluntly pointed at the tip. The upper and lower surfaces are moderately to densely covered with soft, spreading, non-glandular hairs. The margins are finely toothed, the larger leaves with 12 to 20 teeth per side.

The inflorescence is usually a solitary, spike-like, unbranched cluster (raceme) of several flowers rising from only the upper leaf axils. Occasionally there are two racemes rising from the same leaf axil. The small flowers are on 1 32 to 1 16 (1 to 2 mm) long stalks (pedicels). At the base of each pedicel there is single small modified leaf (bract). The bract is green, narrowly lance-shaped, and longer than the pedicel. It is covered with spreading, gland-tipped hairs.

Each flower is ¼ to in diameter. There are 4 outer floral leaves (sepals), 4 petals, 2 stamens, and 1 style. The sepals are green, to ¼ (4 to 6 mm) long, and covered with spreading gland-tipped hairs. They are fused at the base into a short calyx tube, then separated into 4 lance-shaped lobes. The petals are light blue or lavender with dark veins. They are fused at the base into a short tube then separated into 4 lobes that are much longer than the tube. The upper three lobes are round to egg-shaped, to 5 16 (4 to 8 mm) wide, and about equal in size. The lower petal is as long but much narrower. The stamens have white anthers and project well beyond the petals. The style is (3 to 4 mm) long and also projects well beyond the petals.

The fruit is a flattened, yellowish-brown, (4 mm) long, (4 mm) wide, capsule with 12 to 24 tiny seeds. The capsule is broadly triangular or slightly heart-shaped with just a shallow notch at the tip. The surfaces and margin are covered with gland-tipped hairs.

 
Similar
Species

 

 
Distribution Distribution Map  

Sources: 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 22, 28, 29, 30.

 
Comments

Varieties
There are two varieties of Veronica officinalis. The nominate variety, Veronica officinalis var. officinalis is widespread and common. The other variety, V. o. var. tournefortii, is uncommon. It does not occur in Minnesota.

 
Taxonomy

Family:

Plantaginaceae (plantain)

 

Tribe:

Veroniceae

 

Genus:

Veronica

 

Subgenus:

Veronica

 
Synonyms

Veronica tournefortii

Veronica officinalis var. tournefortii

 
Common
Names

common gypsyweed

common speedwell

gypsyweed

 

health speedwell

speedwell

upland speedwell

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Ascending

Curving upward from the base.

 

Axil

The upper angle where a branch, stem, leaf stalk, or vein diverges.

 

Bract

Modified leaf at the base of a flower stalk or flower cluster.

 

Calyx

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

 

Glandular hairs

Hairs spread over aerial vegetation that secrete essential oils. The oils act to protect against herbivores and pathogens or, when on a flower part, attract pollinators. The hairs have a sticky or oily feel.

 

Node

The small swelling of the stem from which one or more leaves, branches, or buds originate.

 

Pedicel

In plants: the stalk of a single flower in a cluster of flowers. In Hymenoptera and Araneae: the narrow stalk connecting the thorax to the abdomen.

 

Raceme

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

 

Sepal

An outer floral leaf, usually green but sometimes colored, at the base of a flower.

       
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Inflorescence

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Flower

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Leaves

  common speedwell    
       

Flowering Branch

  common speedwell    
       

Creeping Stem

  common speedwell    
       

 

Camera

     
Slideshows
   
  Heath Speedwell (Veronica officinalis)
Bill Keim
 
  Heath Speedwell (Veronica officinalis)  
     

 

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  Rozrazil lékařský - Veronica officinalis
jaromírhodan s
 
   
 
About

Jul 8, 2019

Veronica officinalis

   
       
  Mannetjes ereprijs Veronica officinalis 14 juni 2013
florinegreen70
 
   
 
About

Jun 13, 2013

Minder grote bloemen dan de gewone ereprijs, kleur meer paars dan blauw, soms heel licht. Drogere standplaatsen, veel op zandgrond.

   
       

 

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Created: 12/18/2019

Last Updated:

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