Scientific Name: Veronica chamaedrys

Common Name: germander speedwell

Other Common Names: germander speedwell, bird's-eye speedwell, ivyleaf speedwell

Habit: A low growing perennial plant that creeps along the ground and roots at nodes along round hairy stems. Propagated by seed and stem fragments, plants grow during the fall and early winter and flower during spring to early summer. Leaves may defoliate but stems persist to the fall and sprout anew for the next season.

Leaves: Leaves are opposite on upper and lower plant portions. Each leaf is borne on a short petiole or stalk and broadly elliptically-shaped with jagged edges that have rounded teeth. Leaves are hairy and have conspicuous veins. Leaves are typically the same size and shape when found on upper or lower plant portions.

Identifying Characteristics: Upper and lower leaves are the same size and shape and opposite arranged like common speedwell but leaf margins of germander speedwell have rounded teeth and common speedwell has fine sharp teeth. Fruit is a tiny heart-shaped capsule and capsules are arranged in cluster from a single stalk arising from leaf axils. Flowers are tiny, pale blue and borne as loose clusters on long stalks.

Flower Seed Head: Flowers are 8 to 12 mm wide and borne in loose clusters on long stalks (> 2 mm) arising from the leaf axils on the upper portion of the erect flowering stem. Flowers are blue, violet, or white. One flowering stem may contain > 10 small flowers.

Seed Fruit: Fruit is a tiny (3 to 5 mm long) heart-shaped, flat, hairy capsule. It is deeply notched on the top and rounded or pointed on the opposite end (point of attachment).

Where Found: Plants grow in lawns, ornamental areas, and winter grain crops. You can also find the plants in open waste places or home gardens but they do not thrive in areas where regular spring tillage is practiced. Plants may be found in many conditions but are best adapted to dry or sandy soils and shady lawns.

  • Life cycle: perennial

  • Milky sap: Not Present

  • Plant type: Herb

  • Thorns: Not Present

  • Plant family: Scrophulariaceae

  • Leaf arrangement: opposite

  • Leaf shape: lance; oval

  • Ochrea: Not Present

  • Leaf margin: serrated

  • Stem hairs: has hairs

  • Flower color: purple; blue

  • Growth habit: prostrate and nonwoody; upright and nonwoody

  • Stem: round or oval

  • Leaf structure: simple

  • Leaf hairs: has hairs

  • Flower symmetry: bilateral symetry

  • Flower diameter: dime

  • Root structure: fibrous; stolons present

  • Leaf stalk: none; shorter than leaf