Germander Speedwell

A little bit of flowery stuff πŸ™‚

Germander SpeedwellThere are quite a few different Speedwells about just now and telling one from another can seem a bit daunting. The little blue flowers of different species can look very similar.

One day I will write a post about all the different types that I know and point out the differences, that will be a long post. Today I am just going to write about the Germander Speedwell,Β Veronica chamaedrys.

Fortunately Germander Speedwell has a unique identifiable feature that separates it from all of the others..

Germander Speedwelland we will get to that in a bit.

First the flower.

Germander SpeedwellGermander has multiple flowers growing from a single main flower stem on their own little stalks. This kind of arrangement is called a raceme and it helps to separate Germander from say, Persian Speedwell that just has one flower on each flower stem.

Germander Speedwell:
Germander Speedwell

Germander Speedwell

Persian Speedwell (Veronica persica)
Persian SpeedwellQuite a few Speedwells flower on racemes so that alone isn’t enough for a positive ID but it helps.

I usually look at the leaves first. They are a good indication of species as many of the Speedwells have quite distinctive leaves. In the case of the Germander they grow in opposite pairs.

Germander Speedwell

Germander SpeedwellΒ I suppose that I could tell you that “The leaves are in opposite pairs, triangular and crenate, sessile or with short petioles,” etc. etc. (Wikiwotsit) but I don’t think that kind of gobbledegook helps Β anybody, they simply look like this.

Germander Speedwell

Now we come to the unique identifiable feature.

Germander Speedwell has two lines of hairs on opposite sides of the main stem, it is the only one of our Speedwells that has this feature and is is quite easy to see with the naked eye.

Germander Speedwell

Germander Speedwell

Germander Speedwell It is only the main stem that has these two distinct lines of hairs, the flower stems have hairs all around them but if the main stem has this feature and the flowers and leaves fit then you have found a Germander Speedwell and nothing else πŸ™‚

Germander Speedwell

I like it when flowers can be this positive about their own identity. It makes life easy.

Germander Speedwell

Germander Speedwell

27 thoughts on “Germander Speedwell”

    1. Thank you Lauren πŸ™‚ Lots of people ask me that, I will have to make a page or add it to my “About Colin” page that I haven’t written yet πŸ™‚ It is a Panasonic FZ200 bridge camera. It is small and lightweight (no extra lens to carry) Affordable (Β£300 on line) and it takes a half decent picture πŸ™‚

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      1. Oh, I have an “About” page like that too! I keep meaning to update mine or improve it, but I just keep putting it to one side to concentrate on the blogging itself. That sounds like a really good buy – I love Panasonic cameras. I recently bought a TZ40 (just below the bridge camera range, I think) and it has a “tap to focus” feature on the screen on the back. I really love being able to control the field of focus, maybe after some practice I’ll be ready to make the jump up to bridge cameras! πŸ™‚

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  1. They are beautiful little flowers. We have one type of speedwell here that also has pretty flowers, but it sure is invasive in areas where I’d rather it wasn’t. It grows better than anything else, in garden areas. Your photos are great as always!

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    1. Thank you Nancy πŸ™‚ There is a little raised garden just outside of my door and it is full of Wood Avens and Speedwell at the moment. My landlord keeps suggesting that I pull all of those weeds out and he will put some nice pelargoniums in for me. I will do, I am just stalling because I like my weeds.

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    1. Thank you Crystal πŸ™‚ Yes it does look like whiskers πŸ™‚ Hey, I am having some success with my Robins today. They won’t approach the new feeder yet but every time I have opened my door there have been Robins there and each time I have said, “Here is the food.” I take a few worms out and throw them down for them and the birds have approached and taken them. We have started a dialogue already πŸ™‚

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      1. I am so pleased to hear it! I’m glad you talk to them. I talk to my squirrels and now they aren’t sure it’s peanut-time until they hear me chattering, then they come running. I like that the animals and birds can learn our voices.

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    1. Thank you Melissa πŸ™‚ It is a lovely colour but this week it is the Poppies that are really catching my eye. There are not very many here but that is an outrageous splash of colour.

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  2. I think the leaves of this plant are gorgeous, with all the deep branching veins making a living map. I believe this plant may have inspired another fictional character – Veronica Speedwell. Your posts are fertile ground for my imagination!

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    1. Thank you Lady Smock πŸ™‚ Oh Susanne, I fear that your passion for Harry has consumed you and I notice that you have started calling yourself Lady Smock now. Where will Veronica fit into this, they seemed to be getting along so well? Are you creating a rival for yourself? Will Harry’s eyes wander? I am scared to look πŸ™‚

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  3. Such a beauty! I think I have this spreading everywhere – I will have to look for the hairs. I put in a little clump from a friend, and it soon over ran the garden, so it has been banished to the fields. They are so pretty in bloom!

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    1. Thank you Clare πŸ™‚ I am just not much of a gardener. I look at weeds and I see life and nature and my favourite thing is a tangle of hedgerow, with brambles and nettles and roses growing through and all of the colours of the wildflowers.

      The name comes from a medieval Latin word “Germandra” and translates as Ground Oak, someone thought the leaves looked like Oak leaves πŸ™‚

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  4. I often wonder who named the flowers (vernacular) and why. I must see if there is a book of flower name origins. Useful as always and sending me out to check my Speedwells.

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    1. Thank you Andrew πŸ™‚ Those hairy legs are a dead give away πŸ™‚ You have to be extra careful now though. I have ten different species all very close by and for me anyway, the easiest way to miss something is when I think that I know what it is.

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  5. I’m curious: many (or all) parts of a plant seem to have a purpose (leaves, roots, stem, etc.) Do those little hairs serve a purpose for the flower? Drawing moisture out of the air or some such?

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