Veronica persica Poir.
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.
Stem and leaves.
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.
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.
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).