Persian speedwell (Veronica persica)
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Persian speedwell, also called birdseye speedwell, is primarily a winter annual, but can be a summer annual in cooler locations. It grows throughout California, except deserts and the Great Basin, to about 3600 feet (1100 m) and is common on agricultural land and in other disturbed locations.
Gardens, landscaped areas, turf, orchards, vineyards, crop fields, roadsides, and other disturbed sites.
Cotyledons (seed leaves) are triangular/egg shaped, about 1/5 to 1/2 of an inch (5–12 mm) long, and sit atop short, sparsely hairy stalks. The first true leaves are triangular/egg shaped with shallowly toothed edges, hairy, and 1/5 to almost 3/5 of an inch (5–14 mm) long. Later leaves resemble the first but can be larger. Leaves are opposite to one another along the stem.
The stem is prostrate and up to 2 feet (60 cm) long. The entire plant is covered with hairs. Lower leaves are opposite to one another along non-flowering stems. On flowering stems leaves are alternate to one another. Leaves are roundish or oval and about 4 to 16 inches (10–40 cm) long. When mowed frequently plants become compressed (low growing). Persian speedwell leaves are stalked, distinguishing it from thymeleaf speedwell where lower leaves are stalked but upper leaves are stalkless. Also, thymeleaf speedwell has mostly hairless leaves.
Flowering takes place from February through May. The small, single flowers are about 1/3 to 1/2 of an inch (7–12 mm) wide and long, blue with darker lines and white centers. Each flower has a long stalk, about 3/5 to 1-1/5 inches (15–30 mm) long that arises from where the leaf stalk meets the stem.
Fruits consist of small capsules that are less than 1/10 to 1/8 of an inch (2.5–3 mm) long, heart shaped, two chambered, and open at the top to release several seeds. Capsules hang from down-curved stalks that are about 3/5 to 1-1/3 inches (15–30 mm) long.
Seeds are tiny, amber colored, and irregularly egg shaped to oblong cup shaped.
Reproduces by seed.
Related or similar plants
- Thymeleaf speedwell, Veronica serpyllifolia