Speedwell, Bird's-eye, Veronica persica

Life Cycle

Annual, Winter annual.

Propagation

Reproducing by seed.

Stems

Similar to Corn speedwell but stems longer (10-40 cm), weakly upright or often lying on the ground and rooting from nodes touching the soil.

Leaves

Lower leaves (Fig. 1A-a) opposite (2 per node), short-stalked, rounded to ovate, coarsely toothed (Fig 7); upper leaves (Fig 1A-b) similar in shape to the lower ones but alternate (1 per node), stalkless, each alternate leaf with a long-stalked flower (Fig 1A-c) in its axil.

Flowers and Fruit

Calyx deeply 4-lobed, 6-8mm long (Fig. 1C-d); corolla (Figure 1B-e) blue, 8-11mm across, flat, 4-lobed; stamens 2; seedpods flat (Fig. 1A-f, Fig. 1C), broadly heart-shaped, the lobes pointing outwards with a shallow notch, and a persistent, long thin style. Flowers and seeds from May to autumn (Fig 5,6).

Habitat

Bird's-eye speedwell occurs throughout Ontario in lawns, gardens, cultivated fields and waste places.

Distinguishing Features

It is distinguished by its rather coarse habit of growth, large roundish leaves on the upper as well as lower parts of the plant, its long-stalked large blue flowers and its flat, broadly heart-shaped seedpods with spreading lobes and persistent, long style. In the fruiting stage, it is sometimes confused with Shepherd's-purse, but is clearly distinct by having each long flower stalk from the axil of a rounded leafy bract and the deeply 4-lobed calyx remaining around the base of each seedpod; whereas in Shepherd's-purse both bracts and sepals being absent from below the seedpods.


Figure #1.

Bird's-eye speedwell A. Plant B. Flower C. Seedpod


Figure #2.

Bird's eye speedwell plant.


Figure #3.


Figure #4.

Alternate leaf arrangement with long-stalked flower.


Figure #5.

Blue flower of bird's-eye speedwell found in Ontario in May.


Figure #6.

Pistil and stamen of bird's-eye speedwell.


Figure #7.

leaf of bird's-eye speedwell.