Veronica hederifolia L.

Ivy-Leaved Speedwell

Veronica hederifolia plant

Family - Plantaginaceae

Stems - To 40 cm, prostrate, flowering branches loosely ascending, sometimes rooting at nodes, pubescent with spreading, nonglandular hairs.

Leaves - Petiolate, to 1.5 cm, ovate to broadly ovate, rounded to shallowly cordate at base, shallowly palmately 3-5 lobed, lobes blunt, surfaces pubescent with nonglandular hairs.

Veronica_hederifolia_leavesBracts (similar to leaves).

Inflorescence - Terminal, elongate, open racemes, often nearly entire length of stem. Bracts alternate, similar to leaves in size and shape, only slightly reduced toward tip of axis. Peduncles 5-12 mm long at flowering, elongating in fruit.


Flowers - Calyces 4-7 mm long, deeply 4-lobed, the lobes subequal, conspicuously ciliate along the margins. Corollas 3-6 mm wide, pale blue to nearly white, with darker veins, the throat white, often light greenish at the center. Style 0.6-0.9 mm long at fruiting.


Fruits - Fruits 2.5-4.0 mm long, slightly wider than long, depressed-obovate to nearly circular in profile, turgid, the notch very shallow (0.2-0.3 mm), the surfaces glabrous. Seeds 1 or 2 per locule, 2.3-3.0 mm long, cup-shaped, the convex surface appearing cross-wrinkled, dark brown to black

Veronica_hederifolia_fruitsFruits and ciliate sepals.


Flowering - March - May.

Habitat - Bottomland forests, streambanks, moist shaded disturbed areas.

Origin - Native to Europe.

Other info. - This low, creeping speedwell is scattered to uncommon in the state, though it is becoming more widespread. It can be recognized by its prostrate habit and the lobed leaves. The ciliate margins of the fruiting sepals are also a distinctive character. The fruits are inflated, in contrast to the flattened fruits of other common members of the genus.

Photographs taken along the Busch Greenway near the Duckett Creek wastewater treament facility, St. Charles County, MO, 4-22-2016 (SRTurner).