Heath Speedwell - Veronica officinalis

    Description

    Stems prostrate to ascending. Leaves oval to elliptical softly hairy and with short stalks.  Flowers lilac blue with darker veins, 6 to 8 mm borne in pyramidal dense long-stalked racemes

    Similar Species

    Other speedwells, especially V chamaedrys, V montana

    Identification difficulty
    ID guidance

    Flowers in axillary racemes (i.e a flower spike, with several individual flowers along it, grows from the leaf axils, where leaves join the main stem).  Stems hairy all round.  Leaf stalks (petioles) short, less than 6mm. 

    Recording advice

    Can't be identified with confidence from a close-up photo of the flower, or from seed capsules; a general photo and details of leaves, stems and flower spikes needed

    Habitat

    Woods, heaths and short grassy areas mainly on dry acid soils.

    When to see it

    Flowering May to August.

    Life History

    Perennial

    UK Status

    Widespread and fairly frequent over most of Britain.

    VC55 Status

    In the 1979 Flora survey of Leicestershire it was found in 39 of the 617 tetrads.

    In the current Checklist (Jeeves, 2011) it is listed as Native, Locally Frequent

    Leicestershire & Rutland Map

    UK Map