Friday, April 1, 2011

Ivyleaf Speedwell (Veronica hederifolia)

I was wandering around the trailhead at the Rock and Shoals Outcrop Natural Area. Chickweed (Stellaria media) was just starting to bloom. Then I spotted some blue flecks among the chickweed plants. Immediately, I recognized them as speedwells and thought they were Bird-eye Speedwell (Veronica persica) that I had seen previously at Fort Yargo State Park. Upon closer inspection, these were different.

Veronica hederifolia is known by the common names Ivyleaf Speedwell. This species is one of four Veronica species that may grow in the Piedmont area of Georgia. Similar to the Bird-eye Speedwell, Veronica hederifolia flowers are less than 1/4-inch in diameter. In contrast to Veronica persica, the leaves and stems of Veronica hederifolia have prominent hairs.

The patch of Chickweed (Stellaria media) with Ivyleaf Speedwell (Veronica hederifolia) flowers appearing as specks of blue.

An individual flower.

A stem, approximately 6 inches high, with leaves and buds.

Closeup view of the leaf. The hairs on the stem and leaf are prominent.

Closeup of a bud starting to open.

Similar to Bird-eye Speedwell (Veronica persica), Ivyleaf Speedwell (Veronica hederifolia) is native to Eurasia. In contrast to the Veronical persica which grows throughout the U.S. and Canada, Veronica hederifolia grows throughout most of the eastern United States, the British Columbia and the U.S. Pacific states and .Utah. It has only been documented in a five counties in Georgia: Elbert, Madison, Clarke, Oconee, and Floyd.

Click on an image to view a larger image

Distribution Map:
- United States Department of Agriculture Plants Database: Veronica hederifolia (Ivyleaf Speedwell)

compare with Veronica persica (Birdeye Speedwell)
University of North Carolina Herbarium: Veronica hederifolia

Identification resources:

- Southeastern Flora: Ivyleaf Speedwell (Veronica hederifolia)

- Compare with Bird-eye Speedwell (Veronica persica)

Related posts:

- 2010: Year Of The Wildflower

- Bird-eye Speedwell (Veronica persica)


Mike Whittemore said...

Pretty plant! though this species is found in my county in Ohio, I've never seen it. I like how you list information below your posts too. Thanks for sharing!

Mike B. said...

Very nice small flowers. Right now there are a lot of flowers blooming- sometimes it's hard to figure out which are the "weeds".

JSK said...

Thanks Mike (W). I like to list reference materials. I know how difficult it can be to identify wildflowers. Hope these sources can help someone even if they're not interested the specific plant.

JSK said...

Hi Mike B. I agree. It's remarkable how many wildflowers are not native.