American Speedwell
Veronica americana Schwein. ex Benth.
Family: Scrophulariaceae, Figwort
Genus: Veronica
Synonyms:
Other names: American brooklime
Nomenclature: americana = American
Nativity / Invasiveness: Montana native plant
Edible plant
No medicinal data
Description

General: perennial from shallow creeping rhizomes, hairless throughout, with erect, ascending or trailing, simple stems 10-60 cm long.

Leaves: opposite, glossy, all shortly stalked, evidently with small saw-teeth to almost entire, lanceolate to lance-ovate or narrowly almost triangular, or the lower more elliptic, mostly 1.5-8 cm long, 0.6-3 cm wide, generally 2-4 times as long as wide, or the lower a little wider.

Flowers: many in long-stalked, open, elongated clusters, mostly 10- to 25-flowered, from upper leaf axils. Corolla 5-10 mm wide, blue or pale violet to almost white, with 4 broad lobes and 2 spreading stamens. Style 2.5-3.5 mm long. Flower stalks in fruit spreading, 5-14 mm long. May-July.

Fruits: capsule, swollen, 3 mm high and about as wide or slightly wider, scarcely notched. Seeds numerous, 0.5 mm long or less.


Distribution

Wet places, from the lowlands to moderate elevations in the mountains, in w. and c. parts of MT. Also from Yukon and NWT and widespread in temperate N. America.
Edible Uses

All Veronica species are edible, raw or cooked. Usually, these small plants are eaten raw, like watercress, in salads. However, older plants become bitter, and they are best cooked. American speedwell is high in vitamin C. As with all edible wetland plants, care should be taken to avoid using plants from polluted water.


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