Veronica arvensis (Corn Speedwell)

Plant Info
Also known as: Wall Speedwell
Genus:Veronica
Family:Plantaginaceae (Plantain)
Life cycle:annual
Origin:Eurasia, North Africa
Status:
  • Weedy
Habitat:part shade, sun; disturbed soil; lawns, roadsides, waste areas
Bloom season:May - September
Plant height:2 to 12 inches
Wetland Indicator Status:GP: FACU MW: FACU NCNE: FACU
MN county distribution (click map to enlarge):Minnesota county distribution map
National distribution (click map to enlarge):National distribution map

Pick an image for a larger view. See the glossary for icon descriptions.

Detailed Information

Flower: Flower shape: 4-petals Flower shape: tubular Cluster type: raceme

[photo of flowers] 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: Leaf attachment: alternate Leaf attachment: opposite Leaf type: lobed Leaf type: simple

[photo of leaves] 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.

Fruit: Fruit type: capsule/pod

[photo of fruit] Fruit is a heart shaped capsule up to 1/8 inch long and wide, with fine hairs around the edges.

[photo of seed] A capsule contains many tiny oval golden seeds, the oblong germ in the center darker colored like the yolk of an egg.

Notes:

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.

Please visit our sponsors

  • Wild Ones Twin Cities Chapter

Where to buy native seed and plants ↓

Map of native plant purveyors in the upper midwest

  • Natural Shore Technologies - Using science to improve land and water
  • Itasca Ladyslipper Farm - Native orchids, container grown
  • Prairie Restorations - Bringing people together with the land
  • Shop for native seeds and plants at PrairieMoon.com!
  • Shooting Star Native Seeds - Native Prairie Grass and Wildflower Seeds

More photos

Photos by K. Chayka and Peter M. Dziuk taken in Katy's back yard in Ramsey County.

Comments

Have you seen this plant in Minnesota, or have any other comments about it?

Posted by: Scott - Saint Paul
on: 2013-09-09 11:54:33

Was taking a walk at Harriet Island the other day. Saw these unbelievably miniscule flowers all over the sod.They were amongst birdsfoot trefoil and other tiny invasives. I figured they were too. Now I know that you've helped me ID them. Hopefully the mighty Mississippi hasn't already carried them all over creation.

Posted by: Laurie O - Cozy Camp Park in Elk River
on: 2017-05-10 15:31:14

Spotted this blooming on the trail next to the prairie.

Post a comment

Note: All comments are moderated before posting to keep the riff-raff out. An email address is required, but will not be posted—it will only be used for information exchange between the 2 of us (if needed) and will never be given to a 3rd party without your express permission.

For info on subjects other than plant identification (gardening, invasive species control, edible plants, etc.), please check the links and invasive species pages for additional resources.



(required)




Note: Comments or information about plants outside of Minnesota and neighboring states may not be posted because Id like to keep the focus of this web site centered on Minnesota. Thanks for your understanding.