Vascular – Exotic
Herbs - Dicotyledons other than Composites
The National Vegetation Survey (NVS) Databank is a physical archive and electronic databank containing records of over 94,000 vegetation survey plots - including data from over 19,000 permanent plots. NVS maintains a standard set of species code abbreviations that correspond to standard scientific plant names from the Ngä Tipu o Aotearoa - New Zealand Plants database.
Sprawling perennial herb up to 1 m tall with opposite stalkless leaves and small (c. 7 mm across) pale blue or mauve flowers.
Maybe locally abundant in the North and South Island.
Grows in shallow water or wet soil along slow-moving streams and ditches.
Wetland plant indicator status rating
OBL: Obligate Wetland
Almost always is a hydrophyte, rarely in uplands (non-wetlands).
Fibrous-rooted, perennial plant, more or less erect, 20-100 cm tall, hairless throughout, or slightly glandular-short-hairy among the flowers. Leaves opposite, mostly elliptic or elliptic-ovate to elliptic-oblong, stalkless and mostly clasping, mostly 2-10cm long and 0.7-5 cm wide, 1.5-3 times as long as wide, sharply saw-toothed to entire. Sterile, autumnal shoots have more rounded and stalked leaves. Flowers many in elongated, long-stalked clusters from leaf axils. Sepals highly variable in form and size. Corolla pale blue to mauve with darker nerves, 5-7 mm wide. The flower stalks in fruit generally strongly ascending, or upcurved, 3-8 mm long. Fruit a capsule swollen, 2.5-4 mm across, scarcely notched, about as high as wide, or a little higher, the style 1.5-2.5 mm long. Seeds numerous, 0.5 mm long or less
V. anagallis-aquatica is similar to other aquatic Veronica spp., but is generally much larger, with pale blue flowers and stalkless.
Summer to autumn
Temperate Eurasia, may also be native to the US
Reason for introduction
Probably a soil seed contaminant or contaminant of ornamental pond plants
Not usually controlled in New Zealand, but may be controlled manually, or mechanically.
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’.
Factsheet prepared by Paul Champion and Deborah Hofstra (NIWA).