Water Speedwell
Veronica anagallis-aquatica
L.
Family: Scrophulariaceae, Figwort
Genus: Veronica

Description
General: fibrous-rooted, probably biennial or short-lived
perennial plant, more or less erect, 20-100 cm tall, hairless
throughout, or slightly glandular-short-hairy among the
flowers.
Leaves: opposite, mostly elliptic or elliptic-ovate to
elliptic-oblong, stalkless and mostly clasping, mostly 2-10
cm long and 0.7-5 cm wide, 1.5-3 times as long as wide,
sharply saw-toothed to entire. Sterile, autumnal shoots have
more rounded and stalked leaves.
Flowers: many in elongated, long-stalked clusters from
leaf axils. Sepals highly variable in form and size. Corolla
pale blue with darker nerves, about 5 mm wide. The flower
stalks in fruit generally strongly ascending, or upcurved,
3-8 mm long.
Flowering time: June-September.
Fruits:
capsule swollen, 2.5-4 mm high, scarcely
notched, about as high as wide, or a little higher, the style
1.5-2.5 mm long. Seeds numerous, 0.5 mm long or less.

Distribution
Along ditches and slowly moving streams, or in other wet
places, frequently in shallow water, but largely above
surface, in w., c. and n.e. parts of MT. Native of Europe,
now widely established in the U.S.

Edible and Medicinal plant: see below.
(click on image for full size)


Contents
Identification
English Names Index
Scientific Names Index
Family Index
(click on images for full size)

Edible Uses:
The leaves of water speedwell are edible, like all members of the genus Veronica, raw or cooked. They are rich in vitamin C. Having a subtle flavor, the leaves can be added to salads or used as a potherb. When used in salads they are reportedly better with a lemon dressing than vinegar. The leaves are often available in winter. As with all edible wetland plants, care should be taken to avoid using plants from polluted water.

Medicinal Uses:
The root and the leaves are appetizers and have agents that gradually restore health, and that induce urination. The leaves have been used in the treatment of scurvy, impurity of the blood etc. The plant is bruised and applied externally as a poultice on burns, ulcers, whitlows, etc.



Copyright © Plant-Life.org