Veronica persica Poir.

Bird's-Eye Speedwell

Veronica persica plant

Family - Plantaginaceae

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

Leaves - Opposite, short-petiolate to nearly sessile, broadly ovate to nearly orbicular, blunt at tip, rounded to shallowly cordate at base, coarsely scalloped or bluntly toothed, pubescent with nonglandular hairs.

Veronica_persica_leaves2Stem and leaves.

Veronica_persica_leavesLeaves.

Inflorescence - Terminal, elongate, spikelike racemes, sometimes nearly entire length of stem. Bracts alternate, similar to main stem leaves, somewhat reduced only toward branch tips. Peduncles 15-25 mm long at flowering, further elongating to 40 mm in fruit.

Veronica_persica_inflorescenceInflorescence.

Flowers - Calyces 4.5-8.0 mm long, deeply 4-lobed, the lobes subequal, pubescent with nonglandular hairs along the margins. Corollas 8-11 mm wide, blue, with darker veins, the lower lobe often paler or white, the throat white, often light greenish at the center. Stamens 2. Styles 1, 2-3 mm long at fruiting.

Veronica_persica_flowersFlowers.

Veronica_persica_corollaCorollas.

Flowering - March - June.

Habitat - Lawns, ditches, roadsides, open disturbed areas.

Origin - Native to Eurasia.

Other info. - This species has the largest flowers of any Missouri species of Veronica, and can be distinguished from the others on that basis, and also by its very long fruiting stalks. A sizeable population can be quite showy. This plant seems to pop up sporadically, frequently in lawns, but often does not persist into subsequent years.

Photographs taken in Brown Summit, NC., 3-9-03 (DETenaglia); also near Bernheimer, Warren County, MO, 3-9-2012 (SRTurner).



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