Speedwell Veronica officinalis

  • Common Names
  • Speedwell , common speedwell ,common gypsyweed, Fluellin, Paul's Betony Groundhele
  • Botanical Name
  • Veronica officinalis
  • Family

Medicinal Uses & Benefits of Speedwell

remedyHow to Use| Side Effects | Plant & Garden| Folklore

How to Use: Speedwell

Speedwell can be used in herbal tea cough remedies as an expectorant, and also has diaphoretic (sweat -producing), diuretic and tonic properties. 1The plant is rich in vitamins, tannins, and the glycoside aucubin , which has antiinflammatory, diuretic and liver protective actions.2 Speedwell extracts can be added to skin ointments to treat eczema and help heal skin irritations and wounds.

Preparation Methods & Dosage :Tea made from flowering plant, extracts, ointments. If you find this pretty little blue wildflower growing in your yard, try making an herbal tea from the flowering tops.

Speedwell Side Effects: None noted

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Plant Description

Common Speedwell - Veronica officinalis
  • Flowers:Pale blue, very small, crowded on spike-like racemes from axils of leaves, often from alternate axils. Calyx 4-parted; corolla of 4 lobes, lower lobe commonly narrowest; 2 divergent stamens inserted at base and on either side of upper corolla lobe; a knob-like stigma on solitary pistil
  • Stem:From 3 to 10 in. long, hairy, often prostrate, and rooting at joints.
  • Leaves: Opposite, oblong, obtuse, saw-edged, narrowed at base.
  • Fruit: Compressed heart-shaped capsule, containing numerous flat seeds.
  • Preferred Habitat:Dry fields, uplands, open woods.
  • Flowering Season:May - August
  • Distribution:From Michigan and Tennessee eastward, also from Ontario to Nova Scotia. Probably an immigrant from Europe and Asia
American Brooklime, Veronica americana
  • Flowers:Light blue to white, usually striped with deep blue or purple; structure of flower similar to that of V. officinalis, but borne in long, loose racemes branching outward on stems that spring from axils of most of the leaves.
  • Stem:Without hairs, usually branched, 6 in. to 3 ft. long, lying partly on ground and rooting from lower joints.
  • Leaves:Oblong, lance-shaped, saw-edged, opposite, petioled, and lacking hairs, 1 to 3 in. long, 1/4 to 1 in. wide.
  • Fruit: A nearly round, compressed, but not flat, capsule with flat seeds in 2 cells.
  • Preferred Habitat:In brooks, ponds, ditches, swamps.
  • Flowering Season:April - September
  • Distribution:From Atlantic to Pacific, Alaska to California and New Mexico, Quebec to Pennsylvania

This, the perhaps most beautiful native speedwell, whose sheets of blue along the brookside are so frequently mistaken for masses of forget-me-nots by the hasty observer, of course shows marked differences on closer investigation; its tiny blue flowers are marked with purple pathfinders, and the plant is not hairy, to mention only two. But the poets of England are responsible for most of whatever confusion still lurks in the popular mind concerning these two flowers. Speedwell, a common medieval benediction from a friend, equivalent to our farewell or adieu, and forget-me-not of similar intent, have been used interchangeably by some writers in connection with parting gifts of small blue flowers. It was the germander speedwell that in literature and botanies alike was most commonly known as the forget-me-not for more than two hundred years, or until only fifty years ago. When the Mayflower and her sister ships were launched, "Speedwell" was considered a happier name for a vessel than it proved to be. Netje Blanchan Wild Flowers worth Knowing(1917)

Regional Traditions :European * North America *