Veronica hederifolia L.
CC = *
CW = 5
MOC = 14
Family - Plantaginaceae
Habit - Taprooted annual.
Stems - To 40 cm, prostrate, flowering branches loosely ascending, sometimes rooting at nodes, pubescent with spreading, nonglandular hairs.
Leaves - Petiolate, to 1.5 cm, ovate to broadly ovate, rounded to shallowly cordate at base, shallowly palmately 3-5 lobed, lobes blunt, surfaces pubescent with nonglandular hairs.
Inflorescence - Terminal, elongate, open racemes, often nearly entire length of stem. Bracts alternate, similar to leaves in size and shape, only slightly reduced toward tip of axis. Peduncles 5-12 mm long at flowering, elongating in fruit.
Flowers - Calyces 4-7 mm long, deeply 4-lobed, the lobes subequal, conspicuously ciliate along the margins. Corollas 3-6 mm wide, pale blue to nearly white, with darker veins, the throat white, often light greenish at the center. Style 0.6-0.9 mm long at fruiting.
Fruits - Fruits 2.5-4.0 mm long, slightly wider than long, depressed-obovate to nearly circular in profile, turgid, the notch very shallow (0.2-0.3 mm), the surfaces glabrous. Seeds 1 or 2 per locule, 2.3-3.0 mm long, cup-shaped, the convex surface appearing cross-wrinkled, dark brown to black
Flowering - March - May.
Habitat - Bottomland forests, streambanks, moist shaded disturbed areas.
Origin - Native to Europe.
Lookalikes - Several other members of the Veronica genus.
Other info. - This low, creeping speedwell is scattered to uncommon in the state, though it is becoming more widespread. It is found in the majority of U.S. states, but is sparse in most. It can be recognized by its very small, 4-lobed flowers and the leaves, which are lobed but not deeply so. The ciliate margins of the fruiting sepals are also a distinctive character, and overall the plants are more conspicuously hairy than other members of the genus. The fruits are inflated, in contrast to the flattened fruits of most other species of Veronica.
Photographs taken along the Busch Greenway near the Duckett Creek wastewater treament facility, St. Charles County, MO, 4-22-2016, and along the Katy Trail west of Marthasville, Warren County, MO, 3-25-2020 (SRTurner)