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

Veronica serpyllifolia L.
thyme-leaved speedwell (thymeleaf speedwell)
Plantaginaceae (Mare's-tail family)
(Previously in Scrophulariaceae)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Gordon Neish  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #23612)

E-Flora BC Static Map
Distribution of Veronica serpyllifolia
Click here to view our interactive map and legend
Details about map content are available here
Click on the map dots to view record details.

Species Information

Click on the image below to view an expanded illustration for this species.

Perennial herb from a creeping rhizome; stems ascending, 10-30 cm tall/long, often decumbent or creeping at the base and producing prostrate, nodally rooting branches, otherwise simple, finely and closely short-hairy, or smooth.
Opposite, often short-stalked below, unstalked above, elliptic to broadly egg-shaped, 1-2.5 cm long, obscurely blunt-toothed to entire, smooth or nearly so.
Inflorescence a terminal bracted raceme, at first compact then elongating and lax, of several to many (to 30) stalked flowers, the stalks finely short-hairy and often also glandular, shorter than the bracts, at least the upper bracts alternate, the lower gradually passing into leaves; corollas bright blue or pale blue to white with darker blue lines, saucer-shaped, 4-8 mm across, irregularly 4-lobed, the lobes much longer than the short tube, the upper lobe largest, the lowest lobe narrower than the others; calyces short-hairy or glandular-hairy, deeply 4-lobed, the lobes oblong to egg-shaped, 2-4 mm long, slightly unequal; styles short, 2-3.5 mm long; stamens 2, exserted, the filaments 1-4 mm long.
Capsules, 3-4 mm long, flattened, heart-shaped, wider than long, distinctly notched at the tip, thinly glandular-hairy; seeds numerous, about 0.7 mm long.
Two varieties occur in BC

1. Axis of inflorescence and flower stalks minutely incurved-hairy, non-glandular; corollas to 5 mm wide; introduced in SW and E BC..................... var. serpyllifolia

1. Axis of inflorescence and flower stalks finely minute-hairy but also with spreading glandular hairs; corollas to 8 mm wide; native throughout BC..................... var. humifusa (Dickson) Vahl

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Mesic to wet meadows, fields, streambanks, thickets, open forests and waste places in the lowland, steppe, montane and lower subalpine zones; frequent throughout BC, especially southward; var. humifusa - circumpolar, N to AK, E to NF and S to NH, NY, MI, WI, MN, NM, AZ, CA and MX; Eurasia, var. serpyllifolia - introduced from Europe.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Veronica serpyllifolia

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) 2 1081 2200
Slope Gradient (%) 0 8 74
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
20 231 320
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
2 5 8
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: AT(1), CWH(6), ESSF(8), ICH(2), IDF(2), MH(2), MS(3), PP(1), SBPS(1), SBS(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 not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References