Veronica arvensis L. - Corn Speedwell

Veronica arvensis plant

Family - Scrophulariaceae

Stems - Erect, decumbent, or sprawling, multiple from fibrous roots, to +/-15cm tall, herbaceous, hollow, villous.

Veronica arvensis stemStem.

Leaves - Opposite, petiolate below, sessile above, broadly ovate to triangular above, to +/-1cm long, 1cm broad, crenate-serrate, pubescent.

Veronica arvensis leaves

Inflorescence - Terminal bracteate raceme to +/-5cm long. Bracts foliaceous and giving the flowers a single axillary look. Flowers sessile or on petioles to -1mm long.

Flowers - Corolla deep blue-purple, to 5mm broad. Petals 4, united at the base to form a short tube to .5mm long. Lobes of the corolla rounded. Stamens 2, erect, adnate at the base of the corolla tube. Filaments whitish, glabrous, to 1mm long. Anthers bluish and white, .3-.4mm long. Ovary superior, green, orbicular, compressed, pubescent on the margins, .5mm in diameter. Style whitish-green, -1mm long and glabrous. Calyx accrescent, deeply 4-lobed, glandular and simple hispid. Lobes oblong, typically unequal, green, rounded to subacute, to 2mm in flower (much longer in fruit). Calyx tube short, -1mm long.

Veronica arvensis flowerFlower close-up.

Flowering - March - August.

Habitat - Open rocky woods, glades, waste ground, cultivated areas, fields, pastures, lawns, roadsides, railroads.

Origin - Native to Europe.

Other info. - This little introduced species can be found throughout Missouri. This is one of the earliest little plants to bloom in the spring. The earliest flowers tend to be smaller than the flowers that come later in the season. This is an easy species to ID in the field because of the small blue flowers, sessile leaves, and pubescent stems.

Photographs taken in Brown Summit, NC., 4-12-03.


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