Veronica scutellata (Marsh Speedwell)
|Also known as:||Narrow-leaved Speedwell, Skullcap Speedwell|
|Habitat:||part shade, sun; wet; bogs, marshes, wet meadows, moist woods, seeps|
|Bloom season:||May - September|
|Plant height:||4 to 16 inches|
|Wetland Indicator Status:||GP: OBL MW: OBL NCNE: OBL|
|MN county distribution (click map to enlarge):|
|National distribution (click map to enlarge):|
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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:
Leaves are long and narrow, 1 to 3 inches long, about ¼ inch wide, toothless or with several small teeth along the edges, opposite, and stalkless. Stems and leaves are typically hairless, occasionally sparsely hairy, rarely quite hairy.
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. The small, wispy stature and sparse floral array makes this a very inconspicuous species in its swampy habitats. Of note is that this species is typically hairless throughout, but the specimens we came upon in Lake County were uncommonly hairy. The racemes and narrow leaves are distinctive, however, so the ID was not difficult.
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Photos by K. Chayka and Peter M. Dziuk taken at the edge of a pond in Lake County.
Have you seen this plant in Minnesota, or have any other comments about it?