Speedwell - Veronica (Veronica longifolia) Long-leaf Speedwell NonGMO Herb Flower
Height 2 to 4 ft
A cottage garden favourite! Veronica, is native to central and northeastern Europe to southwest Asia and is commonly known as long-leaf Speedwell. This plant produces a clump-forming herbaceous perennial that typically grows to 2 to 4 ft tall, with a 1 to 2 ft spread on stems clad with short-stalked, lanceolate to pointed ovate, toothed, medium green leaves (up to 3 in long). The lower leaves are opposite, but the upper leaves just below the flower spikes are sometimes whorled. The stems are topped in late spring to early summer by a showy bloom of small funnel-shaped, lavender-blue flowers (each to 1/4 in in diameter) in slender, crowded, spike-like terminal racemes (to 12 in long). Sporadic re-blooming to September typically occurs.
Veronica Speedwell, as a common name, comes from the propensity for most blooms to lose their petals after a few days. The Genus name honours St Veronica who reportedly gave a handkerchief to Jesus so he could wipe sweat from his face on the way to Calvary, with some genus plants having markings that resemble the markings on the sacred handkerchief, and probably is in reference to an ancient herbal medicinal use of plant parts in curing aliments in a rapid or speedy fashion. Veronica species are used in traditional medicine for the treatment of rheumatism, hemoptysis, and Laryngopharyngitis (usually caused by viral and/or bacterial infections, such as the common cold and flu -both viral infections) or by infection with the Streptococcus bacterium (strep throat). Pharyngitis can also occur with mononucleosis (aka “mono”), a viral infection, hernia, and lung and respiratory diseases (e.g., against cough or as an expectorant)
An infusion of speedwell can be used as a wash for irritated or infected skin and as a gargle for mouth and throat soars. Recent studies have shown Speedwell tea may be an effective preventative treatment for stomach ulcers. Speedwell can also be used in herbal salves for chronic skin problems.
- Full sun; will tolerate light shade.
- Prefers evenly moist, well-drained soil. Intolerant of dry soils. Weak floppy growth occurs in too much shade or with overly rich soils.
- Direct seed outdoors in early spring, or in early autumn where winters are mild; sow on the surface of the soil - cover sparsely.
- OR Start indoors 8 to 10 weeks before last frost; surface sow and press in to create contact with earth as light is needed to germinate. Transplant outdoors after all risk of frost has passed.
Germinates in 14 to 21 days @ 22C.
- Spacing: 30 to 60cm
- Remove spent flower spikes to encourage additional blooms.
- Add (every 3rd year) an addition of compost and manure to the soil.
- Harvest seeds and store in cool dry place until needed.
- Seed Count: 20