American Speedwell: Veronica americana
|Weed Description: Aquatic
speedwells with attractive light blue flowers that are usually partly in and partly out of
the water. American speedwell can be found in swamps or along the banks of streams
and ponds. American speedwell is somewhat rare but can be found in Virginia, North
Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, and West Virginia.
Stems: Growing prostrate along the ground with the flowering tips upright (decumbent growth habit). Stems may reach as much as 2 feet in length as they are capable of rooting at the nodes.
|Leaves: Generally oval to elliptic in
outline, widest at the base and pointed at the tip. Leaves are approximately 3/4 to
2 1/2 inches long, 1/2 to 3/4 inch wide. Leaves are usually shallowly toothed and
occur on short petioles. The leaves that occur on the upper flowering stems clasp
the stem at their base.
Fruit: A capsule.
|Flowers: Occur in clusters at
the ends of the erect flowering stems. Flower clusters range from 2 to 6 inches in
total length and contain many small light purple to light blue flowers. Each flower
consists of 5 petals and is approximately 4 to 5 mm in total width.
Identifying Characteristics: The aquatic growth habit, oval to elliptic leaves with petioles, and small light blue flowers are all characteristics that help in the identification of American speedwell. Water speedwell (Veronica anagallis-aquatica) is very similar in appearance and growth habit, however this species has leaves without petioles (sessile) unlike American speedwell. This weed may also be confused with Creeping Primrose (Ludwigia palustris), however this aquatic weed generally has some portion of the plant under water, often has red-tinged foliage, and does not have blue flowers.