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VERONICA spicata

Image of Veronica spicata

James H. Schutte

Family

Scrophulariaceae

Botanical Name

VERONICA spicata

Plant Common Name

Spike Speedwell

General Description

A perennial classic, spike speedwell is a prized long-blooming herbaceous ornamental that offers pretty spikes of flowers in summer and sometimes into fall. This clump or mat-forming plant comes from Europe and western Asia where it inhabits open grasslands, hills and woodsides. The foliage can be light to dark green, or silvery gray-green in the case of subspecies incana and its hybrids. In summer it bears candelabra-like clusters of many small purple, violet-blue, rose, pink, or white flowers. They are highly attractive to bees and butterflies. Bloom will often be prolonged if spent racemes are removed. The foliage turns golden yellow to yellow green in fall.

This sun-loving perennial grows best in fertile to average soil with good drainage. It is a great plant for rock gardens and mixed borders and can even be used as a small-scale herbaceous groundcover. It pairs well with Dianthus, blue fescue and dwarf daylilies.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    8 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    3 - 8

  • Sunset Zone

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

  • Plant Type

    Perennial

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun

  • Height

    1'-2' / 0.3m - 0.6m

  • Width

    1'-2' / 0.3m - 0.6m

  • Bloom Time

    Late Spring, Early Summer, Summer, Late Summer, Early Fall, Fall

  • Native To

    Europe, Western Asia

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Salt

  • Growth Rate

    Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Upright/Erect

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    White, Purple, Pink, Rose, Blue Violet

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Gray Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green, Gray Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Yellow, Gray Green, Dark 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

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Container, Groundcover, Mixed Border, Rock Garden / Wall, Wildflower

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Butterflies

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes