American brooklime, American speedwell
Vascular – Exotic
Herbs - Dicotyledons other than Composites
Sprawling perennial herb up to 30 cm tall with opposite shortly stalked leaves and small (c. 1 cm across) blue flowers.
Common in the Waikato, Bay of Plenty, and scattered in the southern North Island, Canterbury and Westland.
Margins of flowing water bodies, seeps
Wetland plant indicator status rating
OBL: Obligate Wetland
Almost always is a hydrophyte, rarely in uplands (non-wetlands).
Perennial growing from shallow creeping rhizomes, hairless throughout, with erect, ascending or trailing, simple stems 10-60 cm long. Leaves: opposite, glossy, all shortly stalked, evidently with small saw-teeth to almost entire, lanceolate to lance-ovate or narrowly almost triangular, or the lower more elliptic, mostly 1.5-8 cm long, 0.6-3 cm wide, generally 2-4 times as long as wide, or the lower a little wider. Flowers: many in long-stalked, open, elongated clusters, mostly 10- to 25-flowered, from upper leaf axils. Corolla 5-10 mm wide, blue or pale violet to almost white, with 4 broad lobes and 2 spreading stamens. Style 2.5-3.5 mm long. Flower stalks in fruit spreading, 5-14 mm long. Fruits: capsule, swollen, 3 mm high and about as wide or slightly wider, scarcely notched. Seeds numerous, 0.5 mm long or less.
V. americana is distingushed from the other spp of Veronica by its strongly toother leaves that occur on stalks.
Summer to autumn
Reason for introduction
Probably a soil seed contaminant or contaminant of ornamental pond plants
Not controlled in New Zealand.
veronica: Named after Saint Veronica, who gave Jesus her veil to wipe his brow as he carried the cross through Jerusalem, perhaps because the common name of this plant is ‘speedwell’. The name Veronica is often believed to derive from the Latin vera ‘truth’ and iconica ‘image’, but it is actually derived from the Macedonian name Berenice which means ‘bearer of victory’.
americana: Of South America
Factsheet prepared by Paul Champion and Deborah Hofstra (NIWA).