Veronica serpyllifolia (Thyme-leaf Speedwell)
|Also known as:|
|Habitat:||shade, sun; moist woods, grassy places, waste grounds, disturbed soils|
|Bloom season:||May - October|
|Plant height:||4 to 12 inch creeper|
|Wetland Indicator Status:||GP: OBL MW: FACW NCNE: FAC|
|MN county distribution (click map to enlarge):|
|National distribution (click map to enlarge):|
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Flower is 1/8 to ¼ inch across, saucer shaped with 4 white or blueish-white round lobes (petals). The lobe on the bottom is smaller and narrower than the other 3. The top lobes are streaked with purple on the inside of the petal. There are 2 stamens coming from the greenish center.
Leaves and stem:
Leaves are less than 1½ inches long, oval or round, sometimes with scalloped edges over part of or the entire leaf. There is a very short leaf stalk. Attachment is opposite, except at the top of the plant where the flowers are alternately attached. Stems creep along the ground, the flowering end rising up.
There are 2 vars of Thyme-leaf Speedwell in Minnesota, though these are not universally accepted: var. humifusa, an uncommon native species with bright blue flowers, and var. serpyllifolia, a more common, weedy non-native species with white and purple streaked flowers. This plant is an inconspicuous ground cover and is often hidden in the grass. It is easy to miss unless there is a large patch of it or a speck of white from the flowers catches your eye. When you're out looking for wildflowers, don't forget to look directly down every now and then—you never know what you'll find!
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- a small patch hidden in the grass
- view from ground level, about 3 inches tall
- more plants
- whole plant
Photos by K. Chayka taken in Ramsey County. Photos by Peter M. Dziuk taken in Anoka County.
Have you seen this plant in Minnesota, or have any other comments about it?