WALL SPEEDWELL

CORN SPEEDWELL

Veronica arvensis

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

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statusZnative
flower
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inner
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morph8zygo
petals
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6th June 2015, a churchyard, Aughton, Ormskirk, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
A common and widely found upright, but low-growing plant. All of these specimens were in cracks between stones and on the ground - somewhat defying its common name of 'Wall Speedwell'.


6th June 2015, a churchyard, Aughton, Ormskirk, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
The plant grows anywhere from 1cm long to 20cm high (quite a range), with its occasional upper limit being 30cm. The tall one here has gone to fruit. Flowers are small and mainly hidden by leaves as on the left. The upper leaves are un-stalked, ovate and untoothed (whereas the lower leaves, unseen in this view, are stalked, wider and more rounded with rounded (crenate-serrate) teeth). The lower leaves, in shape, are quite like those of Germander Speedwell (except that those are either unstalked or with only short stalks).


24th May 2016, a churchyard, Aughton, Ormskirk, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Three more Heart-shaped/Ace-of-Spades shaped fruits on the nearest plant here.


6th June 2015, a churchyard, Aughton, Ormskirk, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
The flower is mostly hidden - just peeking out near the top - they only fully open in bright sunlight. The plant is hairy, both stems and leaves, sometimes glandular-hairy. Leaves oval-triangular, up to 15mm long and sometimes lobed or toothed.


24th May 2016, a churchyard, Aughton, Ormskirk, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Flowers usually bright-blue, but albinos not unknown, as below.


6th June 2015, a churchyard, Aughton, Ormskirk, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
An albino plant with three half-opened flowers half-hiding near the top. The flowers are crowded in the upper part of the plant. Only as they turn to fruit does the stem extend separating the fruits along the stem.


6th June 2015, a churchyard, Aughton, Ormskirk, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Some glandular hairs mixed in with non-glandular hairs. Leaf-tips have brownish Hydathodes to dispense excess water.


24th May 2016, a churchyard, Aughton, Ormskirk, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Many glandular hairs on this specimen. Flowers tiny, only 2-3mm across. The anther is white and blue, the stigmas white and discoidal. The glandular hairs secrete a sticky substance, making the plant feel sticky.


24th May 2016, a churchyard, Aughton, Ormskirk, Lancs. Photo: © RWD


24th May 2016, a churchyard, Aughton, Ormskirk, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
The flowers are bilaterally symmetric: zygomorphic. There are, as usual with Speedwells, 4 petals, two equally-sized ones on the side, separated by a slightly longer petal and opposite that a slightly shorter petal.


24th May 2016, a churchyard, Aughton, Ormskirk, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Petals are greenish in the centre and bright-blue beyond, save for perhaps a reddish-purple area where the two zones meet. There are two anthers, white with blue when un-opened, and a single style with discoidal termination.


6th June 2015, a churchyard, Aughton, Ormskirk, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
The fruits are about as wide as they are long but are shorter than the usually spreading sepal teeth surrounding them.


6th June 2015, a churchyard, Aughton, Ormskirk, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Fruits (hairy and almost flat) still have the short style still attached in the V-shaped nick.


Some similarities to : many other Speedwells.

Distinguishing Feature : the heart shaped (and flattened) fruits identifies it from other Speedwells.

Sometimes called Rock Speedwell, Veronica fruticans which is a different variety of Speedwell that (in the UK) grows only in Central Scotland, and should not to be confused with Wall Speedwell Veronica arvensis as described above.

Although many of the very numerous species of Speedwell hybridise with one another, Wall Speedwell seems not to engage in this promiscuity.

It is a ubiquitous native annual found growing on walls, banks, cracks in pavements, paths, tracksides, arable fields, disturbed ground, sparse grassland, dunes and in gardens, especially on dry soils. It is not particular about soil pH, growing on acid or calcareous soils.

In the case of Speedwells, Veronicaceae no longer exists as a family, and Speedwells are now placed under Veroniceae which is a Tribe within the Plantaginaceae family. There are 13 other Tribes within the Plantaginaceae family. But such is taxonomy, that it could all change again in the future...


  Veronica arvensis  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Plantaginaceae  

Distribution
 family8Plantain family8Plantaginaceae

 BSBI maps
genus8Veronica
Veronica
(Speedwells)

WALL SPEEDWELL

CORN SPEEDWELL

Veronica arvensis

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

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