HEATH SPEEDWELL

COMMON SPEEDWELL

Veronica officinalis

Plantain Family [Plantaginaceae]
Synonym : Veronicaceae
Formerly in: Figwort Family [Scrophulariaceae]

month8may month8jun month8june month8jul month8july month8aug

status
statusZnative
inner
inner8lilac flower8mauve
inner
inner8white
morph
morph8zygo
petals
petalsZ4
type
typeZspiked
stem
stem8round

16th June 2010, summit, Bryn Euryn, Colwyn Bay, North Wales. Photo: © RWD
Growing amidst dead moss with Common Ragwort as backdrop.


3rd July 2010, cliffs, Arnside, Lancs Photo: © RWD
Somewhat contrarily, this specimen was growing on the side of a limestone cliff. The flowering spikes bend upwards and skywards.


16th June 2010, summit, Bryn Euryn, Colwyn Bay, North Wales. Photo: © RWD
A spike of lilac flowers with mid-green leaves.


16th June 2010, summit, Bryn Euryn, Colwyn Bay, North Wales. Photo: © RWD
Grows to 40cm in height. Oval leaves.


28th May 2012, Little Orme, North Wales. Photo: © RWD
Hairy all over with oval and toothed leaves.


28th May 2012, Little Orme, North Wales. Photo: © RWD
Stems hairy all round. Flowers lilac with four bisymmetric petals.


28th May 2012, Little Orme, North Wales. Photo: © RWD
Flowers sometimes purple when in bud. Stem reddish brown.


11th June 2016, Cronton ex-Colliery reserve, Merseyside. Photo: © RWD
Glandular hairs on everything but the inflorescence prominently displayed.


11th June 2016, Cronton ex-Colliery reserve, Merseyside. Photo: © RWD
Stamens and style protrude well beyond the flower opening.


28th May 2012, Little Orme, North Wales. Photo: © RWD
Flowers have the largest petal at the top, two side petals and a much narrower and slightly shorter petal at the bottom and are between 6 and 9mm across.


28th May 2012, Little Orme, North Wales. Photo: © RWD
Two white stamens with lilac-coloured anthers. A single white style with a small lilac stigma atop.


28th May 2012, Little Orme, North Wales. Photo: © RWD
The leaf-like bract that emerges just beneath the flower stalk is shorter than the flower stalk.


28th May 2012, Little Orme, North Wales. Photo: © RWD
Flowers cupped by four narrow sepals.


28th May 2012, Little Orme, North Wales. Photo: © RWD
Anthers now indigo coloured, pollen white.


11th June 2016, Cronton ex-Colliery reserve, Merseyside. Photo: © RWD
And single discoidal stigma a bright reddish-purple. This photo shows how the filament attaches to an anther within a trough.


28th May 2012, Little Orme, North Wales. Photo: © RWD
Leaves, in opposite pairs, oval and narrowing to their stalks. Teeth forwardly directed.


28th May 2012, Little Orme, North Wales. Photo: © RWD
Every part is hairy.


3rd July 2010, cliffs, Arnside, Lancs Photo: © RWD
The teeth on the (hairy) leaves are coarse but shallow and could be likened more to triangular notches. More hairy heart-shaped fruits on left.


3rd July 2010, cliffs, Arnside, Lancs Photo: © RWD
The fruits are heart-shaped, flat, green at first and with a central wiry projection emerging from the nick in the heart (the remains of the stigma).


Not to be confused with : Forget-me-nots [which belong to the Borage Family (Boraginaceae)].

Uniquely identifiable characteristics

Distinguishing Feature :

No relation to : Heath Lobelia or Heath Milkwort [plants with similar names].

There are dozens of differing Speedwells and differentiation between them can be a problem, although only the Hebe shrub species (which are in the same Genus, Veronica) have any hybrids at all. Heath Speedwell is very common, and grows in dry grassy places, heaths and open woods. Your Author does not know why those growing atop Bryn Euryn, a wooded monadnock in North Wales, are growing amidst moss (albeit, seemingly dead moss). Perhaps they were planted there?.


  Veronica officinalis  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Plantaginaceae  

Distribution
 family8Plantain family8Plantaginaceae

 BSBI maps
genus8Veronica
Veronica
(Speedwells)

HEATH SPEEDWELL

COMMON SPEEDWELL

Veronica officinalis

Plantain Family [Plantaginaceae]