Veronica arvensis (Corn Speedwell)
|Also known as:
|Eurasia, North Africa
|part shade, sun; disturbed soil; lawns, roadsides, waste areas
|May - September
|2 to 12 inches
|Wetland Indicator Status:
|GP: FACU MW: FACU NCNE: FACU
|MN county distribution (click map to enlarge):
|National distribution (click map to enlarge):
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Elongating racemes of tiny stalked flowers at the ends of branching stems. Flowers are tubular, about 1/8 inch across, with four round lobes, the upper 3 slightly larger and the lower slightly smaller, deep blue, violet or white streaked with a light greenish center. 2 short white stamens and light tipped style project slightly from the throat. A leaf-like bract, generally elliptical and densely hairy, is attached at the base of the flower stalk so the flowers appear to arise from the leaf axils. A single flower only opens for a short period mid-day, after which the petals wilt and fall away to be replaced by other flowers the next day.
Leaves and stems:
Lower leaves are oval to round, up to about ½ inch long, 1 to 2 times long as wide, short stalked, with palmate veins and several shallow rounded teeth, becoming more elliptic, mostly toothless, alternate and stalkless along the upper stem. Stems and leaves are covered in short hairs, more sparse lower on the stem becoming very dense at the growing tips. Multiple branches form at the base, sprawling along the ground and becoming more erect at the tips.
Native to Eurasia, corn speedwell has spread to nearly all of North America. Its size makes it inconspicuous but it is common in lawns, gardens, fields and other disturbed sites. There is little doubt that this species is under-reported in Minnesota.
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Photos by K. Chayka and Peter M. Dziuk taken in Katy's back yard in Ramsey County.
Have you seen this plant in Minnesota, or have any other comments about it?