Veronica persica Poir.
CC = *
CW = 5
MOC = 16
Family - Plantaginaceae
Habit - Annual forb with a slender taproot.
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.
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.
Fruits - Capsules 3.5-4.5 mm long, noticeably wider than long, broadly heart-shaped in profile, flattened, the notch relatively broad and deep (0.7-1.2 mm), the persistent style 2-3 mm long, dehiscing along the sutures into 2 valves. Seeds mostly 5-11 per locule, 1.2-2.0 mm long, cup-shaped (deeply concave on one side, convex on the other), the convex surface appearing cross-wrinkled, brown.
Flowering - March - June.
Habitat - Lawns, ditches, roadsides, open disturbed areas.
Origin - Native to Eurasia.
Lookalikes - Other species of Veronica.
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 flower and fruit stalks. A sizable population can be quite showy. It is relatively uncommon in Missouri, collected from a few widely scattered counties. It seems to pop up sporadically, frequently in lawns, but often not persisting long term. Its range in the continental U.S. is also scattered. Although it occurs coast to coast, its presence in most states is sparse.
Photographs taken in Brown Summit, NC., 3-9-03 (DETenaglia); also along the Katy Trail near Treloar, Warren County, MO, 3-9-2012 and 4-6-2020 (SRTurner).