Thyme-leaved Speedwell - Veronica serpyllifolia, click for a larger image, licensed for reuse
Picture ©2008 Fornax
Click photo for a larger image

Thyme-leaved Speedwell - Veronica serpyllifolia
Family - Scrophulariaceae

Thyme-leaved speedwell is a common native herbaceous perennial of cultivated land, paths, lawns, open grassland, wastelands and woodland rides throughout the UK, a naturalised alien from Europe in the USA.  It is a mat forming plant growing to around 10-25cm (4-10in) high on creeping stems which root at the nodes, with clusters of white or pale blue four petaled flowers 4-6mm (0.15-0.23in) across with darker blue-purple stripes.  Its leaves resemble those of thyme, hence its common name.

The leaves unlike most Speedwells are glossy, smooth and more or less untoothed, although very tiny hairs and teeth may be found on close inspection.  They are opposite on very short petioles 1mm long, glabrous, 8-10mm (0.3-0.4in) long.  Leaves reduced to bracts in the inflorescence.  Flowers appearing April to July (occasionally in Autumn) are terminal bracteate four lobed racemes on short stalks to 2mm long whitish-blue with purple stripes internally in the top half, maturing to a brown capsule containing up to 120 seeds.

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