Veronica persica, also called the Bird’s-eye Speedwell or Persian Speedwell is one of our earliest spring flowers.
This flower is also sometimes known as Winter Speedwell and given as flowering all year round but locally it was absent until the beginning of March. I took my first picture of 2014 on March 6th.
The Flower has two stamens and one style, it is self fertile. It has four petals, the topmost one being the most intensely coloured and the bottom one being smaller and paler.
Of course the flower doesn’t always align itself the right way up.
This flower shape is typical of Speedwells. Worldwide there are about 500 different species but in the UK there are only about two dozen and half of them are quite rare.
Veronica persica has a single flower (8-12 mm) to a stem. Many of the other species have more. The length of the stem is significant, It will be longer than the leaves but not more than twice as long, there is another species that carries single flowers on much longer stems (four times as long)
The leaves are pale green, oval to triangular and not more than about 2 cm long, coarsely toothed, they have a short stalk and they are arranged alternately at the top of the plant and in pairs at the base.
The plant often sprawls along the ground before rising to flower.
Common Field-speedwell is not native to the UK, it was first recorded here around 1825 and it came from South East Asia. It is commonly regarded as a weed in the UK with no horticultural value.
Species: Veronica persica
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