Veronica hederaefolia L. - Ivy Speedwell
Family - Scrophulariaceae
Flowering - February - May.
Habitat - Lawns, fields, waste ground, disturbed sites, roadsides, railroads.
Origin - Native to Europe.
Other information - This weedy little species can be found scattered in Alabama but seems to be most common in the northern part of the state. The plant can be identified by its long pedicels, wide leaves, small blue flowers, compressed fruits, and non-glandular pubescent stems. The plant typically only grows to about 30cm tall.
The genus name Veronica is of apparent unknown derivation. It may refer to Saint Veronica of Christian beliefs. Oddly enough, there may not even be an actual person attached to that title. The name "veronica" comes from the Latin "ver(a) icon" or "true image". St. Veronica was believed to have wiped the face of Christ before his crucifixion. The image of Christ's face was supposedly transferred to the towel. The name "veronica" is a bastardization of the Latin term which was assigned to the person with the image instead of the image itself. To read more about this subject click here.
The species epithet hederaefolia comes from the Latin "heder" meaning "Ivy" and "foli" meaning "leaf".
Photographs taken in Brown Summit, NC., 3-9-03.