Veronica scutellata (Marsh Speedwell)

Plant Info
Also known as: Narrow-leaved Speedwell, Skullcap Speedwell
Family:Plantaginaceae (Plantain)
Life cycle:perennial
Habitat:part shade, sun; wet; bogs, marshes, wet meadows, moist woods, seeps
Bloom season:May - September
Plant height:4 to 20 inches
Wetland Indicator Status:GP: OBL MW: OBL NCNE: OBL
MN county distribution (click map to enlarge):Minnesota county distribution map
National distribution (click map to enlarge):National distribution map

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Detailed Information

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

[photo of flowers] Long-stalked flowers borne in open racemes from the upper leaf axils. Each flower is about ¼ across with 4 blue, egg-shaped lobes, the upper lobe larger and lower one smaller. Lobes are fused at the base forming a short tube, greenish on the inside of the throat, with 2 white stamens and a single style projecting from the center. Only a 1 to few flowers may be open at any given time.

Leaves and stems: Leaf attachment: opposite Leaf type: simple

[photo of leaves] Leaves are opposite, lance-linear, 1 to 3 inches long, up to about ¼ inch wide, toothless or with a few minute, widely-spaced teeth along the edges, pointed at the tip, and stalkless. Stems and leaves are typically hairless, occasionally sparsely hairy, rarely quite hairy.

Fruit: Fruit type: capsule/pod

[photo of developing fruit] Fruit is a flattened, hairless, heart-shaped capsule less than ¼ inch long, wider than long. Inside are up to 20 flattened seeds.


A circumpolar species of both eastern and western hemispheres, Marsh Speedwell is widespread throughout the upper 2/3 of North America, preferring wetter locations at higher elevations in its southern range, and extending north beyond the Arctic Circle. It can have a small, wispy stature and sparse floral array which makes this a very inconspicuous species in its swampy habitats. Even with a more robust growth, the narrow leaves and loose racemes arising from the upper leaf axils, with flowers or fruits on long, wiry stalks is a distinct combination. Of note is that this species is typically hairless throughout, but the specimens we came upon in Lake County were uncommonly hairy.

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More photos

Photos by K. Chayka and Peter M. Dziuk taken in Lake County.


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

Posted by: gary - Carlton County
on: 2020-07-19 13:39:09

In a woodland vernal pond.

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