Blue Water-speedwell - Veronica anagallis-aquatica


    A plant of medium height with erect, often stout stems, sometimes much branched. Leaves linear to linear lanceolate, all unstalked. It is very similar to the more frequent Pink Water-speedwell but the flowers are bluer.  The two species do hybridise, so care is needed with identification.

    Similar Species

    Veronica catenata

    Identification difficulty
    ID guidance

    Check the capsule - V anagallis-aquatica = more or less round, not or shallowly notched at apex; V catenata = capsule wider than long and deeply notched at apex.  In fruit, V anagallis-aquatica has pedicels that are usually pointing up at more than right-angles; V catenata has pedicels at right-angles to stem

    Recording advice

    Unless identified by a recognised expert, a photo is required. If the photo doesn't show the key ID features then in the comments box describe the size and identifying characters you have observed.


    Found on fertile substrates by rivers, streams and ponds, in ditches and in flooded clay- and gravel-pits. It grows as a vegetative plant submerged in shallow water, or as a flowering emergent, or as a terrestrial plant in marshy habitats and disturbed ground at the water`s edge. 

    It is occasionally introduced around new drainage and SUDS ponds as a component of wildflower seed-mixes for aquatic plant margins

    When to see it

    In flower during June, July and August.

    Life History

    Annual - reproduction is by seed and by rooted stem fragments.

    UK Status

    Widespread and fairly frequent in much of Britain.

    VC55 Status

    Seems to be scarce or under recorded in Leicestershire and Rutland. In the 1979 Flora survey of Leicestershire it was found in 8 of the 617 tetrads.

    It the current checklist (Jeeves, 2011) it is listed as scarce. 

    It is on the current VC55 Rare Plant Register

    Leicestershire & Rutland Map

    MAP KEY:

    Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
    Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

    UK Map