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VERONICA americana

Image of Veronica americana

Family

Scrophulariaceae

Botanical Name

VERONICA americana

Plant Common Name

American Brooklime, American Speedwell

General Description

In any low wet woodland, moist meadow or ditch, the sprawling American speedwell may grow as a thick groundcover. A prostrate herbaceous perennial with tiny blue flowers, it is native across most of temperate North America, except for the southeastern United States. This somewhat weedy wildflower is not typically grown as an ornamental garden plant, even though its flowers are delicate and pretty.

The long stems root at the nodes along the moist soil. The plant is usually prostrate. Loose, wispy flower spikes appear in late spring to early summer and display many tiny four-petaled blue flowers. The small, medium green leaves, which are ovate with small rounded teeth along the edges, appear in opposite pairs on the reddish stems. Each leaf blade has a short petiole, which helps distinguish American speedwell from the similar water speedwell Veronica anagallis-aquatica. Plants are pollinated by insects, most notably bees and butterflies, and the many small seed capsules produced support many seeds that readily germinate.

American speedwell grows well in moist to soggy soil along the edges of lakes, ponds and slow-moving streams or in moist woodlands. If soil moisture is ample, nearly full sun is tolerated, otherwise this plant excels in partial sun or light shade. Plants sprout from seed or reproduce via spreading stems. American speedwell would be best suited to a naturalistic wetland planting.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    9 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    2 - 9

  • Sunset Zone

    A2, A3, 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23

  • Plant Type

    Perennial

  • Sun Exposure

    Partial Sun, Partial Shade, Full Shade

  • Height

    6"-24" / 15.2cm - 61.0cm

  • Width

    3'-4' / 0.9m - 1.2m

  • Bloom Time

    Late Spring, Early Summer, Summer, Late Summer

  • Native To

    Northeastern United States, Mid-Atlantic United States, North-Central United States, Central United States, South-Central United States, Western United States, Northwestern United States, Southwestern United States, Alaska, California, Texas, Canada

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Poorly Drained

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Wet Site

  • Growth Rate

    Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water, Ample Water

  • Habit

    Mat-forming

  • Seasonal Interest

    Summer

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Light Blue, Sky Blue

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    Yes

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Bog Garden, Wildflower

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    Sometimes

  • Attracts

    Butterflies

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes