Veronica hederifolia ssp hederifolia   Ivy-leaved Speedwell C DD N

Veronica hederifolia Veronica hederifolia close

This plant is the second of two subspecies (ssp hederifolia and ssp lucorum) of this early flowering annual Speedwell. There are distinguishing characteristics connected with leaf size, shape and length of pedicel (flower stalk) but the most reliable feature used to separate the two is the colour of the undehisced anthers (pollen not yet released) which should be blue in ssp hederifolia and white or very pale blue in ssp lucorum. Both species have the distinct cilia (thick hair like structures) round the edges of the sepals but there are supposed to be fewer in ssp hederifolia.

Veronica hederifolia ssp hederifolia is common in England and Wales but records become scarcer in the north of England and southern Scotland. It is more common in the east as you go north in Scotland but almost absent in north west and highlands. It is however found on Shetland. In Ireland the distribution is decidedly south eastern with very little in the west and north.

By path near Leasowe dunes car park, Wirral 28th April 2006

Added on 28th June 2006, updated 21st February 2012

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