E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Veronica officinalis L.
common speedwell (common gypsyweed)
Plantaginaceae (Mare's-tail family)
(Previously in Scrophulariaceae)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Jamie Fenneman  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #4271)

E-Flora BC Static Map
Distribution of Veronica officinalis
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Species Information

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Perennial herb from fibrous roots; stems creeping to 40 cm long, rooting at the nodes, often mat-forming, then ascending 5-25 cm tall, spreading-hairy.
Opposite, short-stalked, elliptic, 1.5-5 cm long, toothed, hairy on both surfaces.
Inflorescence of 1 to few, opposite, stalked, spike-like racemes arising from the axils of upper leaves, the racemes of several stalked flowers, the flower stalks 1-2 mm long, somewhat shorter than the alternate, narrowly lanceolate bracts; corollas light blue or lilac, saucer-shaped, 4-8 mm across, irregularly 4-lobed, the lobes much longer than the short tube, the lowest lobe narrower than the others; calyces hairy, 4-6 mm long, deeply 4-lobed, the lobes lanceolate, more or less equal; styles 3-4 mm long, exserted; stamens 2.
Capsules, 4 mm long, about as wide as long, flattened, broadly triangular or heart-shaped, scarcely to shallowly notched at the tip, hairy; seeds 6 to 12 per chamber, about 1 mm long.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Mesic to dry fields, roadsides and open forests in the lowland, steppe and montane zones; infrequent in S BC, rare northward; introduced from Eurasia.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Veronica officinalis

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres) 762 905 1000
Slope Gradient (%) 8 30 55
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
158 217 323
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
2 3 4
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: ICH(4), IDF(1)


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is cool temperate & cool mesothermal.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References