Scientific Name: Veronica peregrina

Common Name: purslane speedwell

Other Common Names: neckweed

Habit: A low growing (2 to 6 in usually but up to 14 in) succulent plant with ascending branched stems that radiate from the base of the plant. Seeds typically germinate in fall and seedlings branch at the base, root at nodes, and quickly form a dense mat. Most flowers are produced in late spring but flowering continues into August.

Leaves: Lower leaves are opposite, lack hairs, narrow and long in shape, and have edges that are smooth with the occasional tooth or notch. Upper leaves on flowering stalks are alternate, do not have petioles (leaf stalks), and tend to be more narrow with fewer teeth and generally smaller than lower leaves.

Identifying Characteristics: All plant parts lack hairs. Upper leaves are smaller and more narrow than lower leaves and lack stalks. Fruit is flat and heart shaped. Flowers are tiny and borne on extremely short stalks.

Flower Seed Head: Flowers are tiny (2 to 4 mm wide) and found nestled in the leaf axils on the upper portion of the erect flowering stem. Flowers are white and borne singly on short ( 1 mm) stalks.

Seed Fruit: Fruit is a small (5 to 8 mm long) heart-shaped pod. It is deeply notched on the top and rounded or pointed on the opposite end (point of attachment).

Where Found: Plants grow in damp open soils and along stream banks whereas other speedwells typically thrive in dry sandy soils. You can also find the plants in open waste places or home gardens, typically in low, moist areas 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 moist conditions.

  • Life cycle: winter annual

  • Milky sap: Not Present

  • Plant type: Herb

  • Thorns: Not Present

  • Plant family: Scrophulariaceae

  • Leaf arrangement: alternate; opposite

  • Leaf shape: lance; oval

  • Ochrea: Not Present

  • Leaf margin: entire; serrated

  • Stem hairs: has hairs; no hairs

  • Flower color: purple; blue; white

  • Growth habit: upright and nonwoody

  • Stem: round or oval

  • Leaf structure: simple

  • Leaf hairs: has hairs; no hairs

  • Flower diameter: pencil

  • Flower symmetry: disymetry

  • Root structure: fibrous

  • Leaf stalk: shorter than leaf; none