Scientific Name: Veronica arvensis

Common Name: corn speedwell

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 quickly forming a dense mat. Most flowers are produced in late spring but flowering continues into August.

Leaves: Seedling leaves are opposite, have sparse hairs, usually oval in shape, and have edges with rounded teeth. Upper leaves on flowering stalks are alternate, do not have petioles (leaf stalks), and tend to be more narrow with fewer teeth and sparsely hairy.

Identifying Characteristics: 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 pale blue to white and borne on short ( 1 mm) stalks.

Seed Fruit: Fruit is a small (5 to 8 mm long) heart-shaped hairy pod. It is deeply notched on the top and rounded or pointed on the opposite end (point of attachment). Arising from the notched end is a short ( 1 mm long) style. The length of this style helps characterize different species of speedwell. Each pod of corn speedwell contains between 14 and 20 tiny yellow seed.

Where Found: Corn speedwell grows in lawns, ornamental areas, and winter grain crops. You can also find the plants in open waste places or home gardens but corn speedwell does 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: winter annual

  • 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: blue; purple; white

  • Growth habit: upright and nonwoody; prostrate and nonwoody

  • Stem: round or oval

  • Leaf structure: simple

  • Leaf hairs: has hairs

  • Flower diameter: pencil

  • Flower symmetry: bilateral symetry

  • Root structure: taproot; fibrous

  • Leaf stalk: shorter than leaf; none