Veronica persica Poir.

Bird's-Eye Speedwell


CC = *
CW = 5
MOC = 16

© SRTurner

Family - Plantaginaceae

Habit - Annual forb with a slender taproot.

Stems - To 40 cm, prostrate, with flowering branches loosely ascending, pubescent with spreading nonglandular hairs.

Veronica_persica_stems.jpg Stems.

© SRTurner

Leaves - Opposite, short-petiolate to nearly sessile, broadly ovate to nearly orbicular, blunt at tip, rounded to shallowly cordate at base, coarsely scalloped or bluntly toothed, pubescent with nonglandular hairs.

Veronica_persica_leaf1.jpg Leaf, adaxial.

© SRTurner

Veronica_persica_leaves2.jpg Stem and leaves (abaxial).

© SRTurner

Veronica_persica_leaves.jpg Leaves.

© DETenaglia

Inflorescence - Terminal, elongate, spikelike racemes, sometimes nearly entire length of stem. Bracts alternate, similar to main stem leaves, somewhat reduced only toward branch tips. Peduncles 15-25 mm long at flowering, further elongating to 40 mm in fruit.

Veronica_persica_inflorescence.jpg Inflorescence.

© SRTurner

Flowers - Calyces 4.5-8.0 mm long, deeply 4-lobed, the lobes subequal, pubescent with nonglandular hairs along the margins. Corollas 8-11 mm wide, blue, with darker veins, the lower lobe often paler or white, the throat white, often light greenish at the center. Stamens 2. Styles 1, 2-3 mm long at fruiting.

Veronica_persica_flowers.jpg Flowers.

© SRTurner

Veronica_persica_flowers2.jpg Flowers.

© SRTurner

Veronica_persica_corolla.jpg Corollas.

© SRTurner

Veronica_persica_functional.jpg Stamens and style.

© SRTurner

Veronica_persica_polita.jpg Corolla size comparison: V. polita (L) vs. V. persica (R).

© SRTurner

Fruits - Capsules 3.5-4.5 mm long, noticeably wider than long, broadly heart-shaped in profile, flattened, the notch relatively broad and deep (0.7-1.2 mm), the persistent style 2-3 mm long, dehiscing along the sutures into 2 valves. Seeds mostly 5-11 per locule, 1.2-2.0 mm long, cup-shaped (deeply concave on one side, convex on the other), the convex surface appearing cross-wrinkled, brown.

Veronica_persica_fruit.jpg Fruit.

© SRTurner

Flowering - March - June.

Habitat - Lawns, ditches, roadsides, open disturbed areas.

Origin - Native to Eurasia.

Lookalikes - Other species of Veronica.

Other info. - This species has the largest flowers of any Missouri species of Veronica, and can be distinguished from the others on that basis, and also by its very long flower and fruit stalks. A sizable population can be quite showy. It is relatively uncommon in Missouri, collected from a few widely scattered counties. It seems to pop up sporadically, frequently in lawns, but often not persisting long term. Its range in the continental U.S. is also scattered. Although it occurs coast to coast, its presence in most states is sparse.

Photographs taken in Brown Summit, NC., 3-9-03 (DETenaglia); also along the Katy Trail near Treloar, Warren County, MO, 3-9-2012 and 4-6-2020 (SRTurner).