VERONICA austriaca ssp. teucrium
Plant Common Name
Broadleaved Speedwell, Saw-leaved Speedwell
This entry has yet to be reviewed and approved by L2G editors.
The genus Veronica encompasses about 250 annuals, perennials and subshrubs, most of which are native to the temperate areas of Asia and Europe. Commonly known to gardeners as speedwells, bird’s eyes, or gypsyweeds, these adaptable plants occur in a variety of habitats ranging from moist meadows and grasslands to dry, rocky alpine areas. There are many species, cultivated varieties and hybrids of Veronica that have yielded numerous garden-worthy selections.
Speedwells are variable in form and may be prostrate, creeping or upright. Some spread by rhizomes, while others are clump-forming and semi-woody. Their round stems hold leaves that are usually opposite of each other, but not always. Also variable, the leaves may be lance-shaped, oval or elliptical with smooth or toothed margins. The flowers are held either singly or in dense to loose, upright spikes. Each small flower is outward-facing, narrow or open and come in shades of blue, purple, white or pink. Insects are the chief pollinators. Variable capsules filled with flattened seeds are the fruits. These typically split open to dispel the seeds.
Speedwells provide lovely color in borders, beds, rock gardens and alpine beds or houses. Each Veronica has a set of conditions for best growth. Mat-forming types, such as creeping Veronica ( Veronica peduncularis), do well in scree, rock gardens and troughs and prefer full sun and poor to moderately fertile, well-drained soils. Border types, such as garden speedwell (Veronica longifolia), grow best in full to partial sun and moderately fertile soil with good drainage. Some winter cold is required for best performance and flowering.