Persian Speedwell (Veronica persica)

Veronica persica
Photographed April 13.

Persian Speedwell is one of our earliest and most beautiful spring flowers. It is so tiny and so ubiquitous, however, that it passes unnoticed even when it lights up our lawns with sky-blue flowers. The blooming period begins in March, or even late February, and is generously long. These flowers were blooming in the middle of April.

Since Gray did not describe this species, which had not taken firm hold here in his time, we repeat our own description. The flowers of the Persian Speedwell have yellow centers, fading to white veined with blue, the blue predominating toward the outer edges of the petals, and giving the overall impression of a blue flower from a short distance. The leaves are roundish, sessile near the top of the stem and on short petioles below, gently toothed, somewhat hairy. The plant seldom exceeds the height of a few inches, and can often pass unmolested under a lawnmower blade.

Veronica was placed in the family Scrophulariaceae until recently; like most of our members of that family, it is now placed in Plantaginaceae.

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