Corn Speedwell, Veronica arvensis
Plantaginaceae or Plantain Family (formerly in the Scrophulariaceae, the Figwort Family)


Short, but upright plant, up to about 8 inches tall. Lower leaves are opposite each other, small, nearly round, with a few large teeth, and have no or very short leaf stalks. Uppermost leaves, are strap-shaped and toothless. Stems and leaves are hairy. Flowers are very small, blue, with 4 petals, one petal smaller than the others, and 4 sepals, longer than the petals. Flowers have no or very short flower stalks. Fruit is a heart-shaped capsule. Blooms mid-spring to mid-summer.

Introduced weed, originally from Europe. Likes open, sunny places and can handle poor soil. Occasional in the Park, but may be more common than thought as it is a low plant and not very showy, despite the lovely blue of its tiny flowers.

Blue-flowered weedy speedwells (Veronica sp.) are not easy to tell apart. Corn speedwell can be distinguished by the narrow alternate leaves near the top of the stem, and by the nearly or truly stalkless flowers. Thyme-leaved speedwell (V. serpyllifolia) is similar, but has generally paler flowers in terminal clusters. Water speedwell (V. anagallis-aquatica) is larger and grows in wet places. Ivy-leaved speedwell (V. hederifolia) lacks the narrow upper leaves, and all leaves are opposite. Common speedwell (V. officinalis) has flowers in spikes. Persian speedwell (V. persica) has larger flower and more teeth on the leaves.

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