Veronica serpyllifolia (Thyme-leaf Speedwell)

Plant Info
Also known as:
Genus:Veronica
Family:Plantaginaceae (Plantain)
Life cycle:perennial
Origin:Asia
Status:
  • Weedy
Habitat:shade, sun; moist woods, grassy places, waste grounds, disturbed soils
Bloom season:May - October
Plant height:4 to 12 inch creeper
Wetland Indicator Status:GP: OBL MW: FACW NCNE: FAC
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] Flower is 1/8 to ¼ inch across, saucer shaped with 4 white or blueish-white round lobes (petals). The lobe on the bottom is smaller and narrower than the other 3. The top lobes are streaked with purple on the inside of the petal. There are 2 stamens coming from the greenish center.

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

[photo of leaves] Leaves are less than 1½ inches long, oval or round, sometimes with scalloped edges over part of or the entire leaf. There is a very short leaf stalk. Attachment is opposite, except at the top of the plant where the flowers are alternately attached. Stems creep along the ground, the flowering end rising up.

Fruit: Fruit type: capsule/pod

[photo of fruit] Fruit is a flattened, heart shaped capsule less than ¼ inch long, wider than long, with a fringe of glandular hairs along the edge. Inside are numerous flattened seeds.

Notes:

There are 2 vars of Thyme-leaf Speedwell in Minnesota, though these are not universally accepted: var. humifusa, an uncommon native species with bright blue flowers, and var. serpyllifolia, a more common, weedy non-native species with white and purple streaked flowers. This plant is an inconspicuous ground cover and is often hidden in the grass. It is easy to miss unless there is a large patch of it or a speck of white from the flowers catches your eye. When you're out looking for wildflowers, don't forget to look directly down every now and then—you never know what you'll find!

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More photos

Photos by K. Chayka taken in Ramsey County. Photos by Peter M. Dziuk taken in Anoka County.

Comments

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

Posted by: Vicki H
on: 2009-05-30 18:29:52

My mother has this flower growing like a ground cover next to her house in Gilbert, MN in St. Louis County. Thanks to this site for helping me to identify the flower for my mother. Thanks!

Posted by: John - W. St. Paul
on: 2016-06-01 12:16:15

On May 9, 2016, I spotted some tiny white flowers among the grass in a vacant lot near me. As you've said, sometimes one has to look straight down. Good thing it was so sunny so they were open. Shortly after, on a cloudy, gloomy day it was very hard to see them. Several years ago that lot had a house on it so I have to assume that they came in with the fill, or at least some seeds did, especially since that soil is sandier than the other soil around there.

Posted by: Kris - Isanti
on: 2018-05-26 18:47:44

We have this cute tiny flowers growing in our yard in Spencer Brook Township.

Posted by: Dan Burns - Princeton
on: 2020-05-25 12:41:45

Observed a few plants in southern Mille Lacs County.

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