pink water speedwell
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 25 cm tall with opposite stalkless leaves and small (c. 7 mm across) pink to pinkish white flowers.
Shallow water, swamps and margins of waterways.
Wetland plant indicator status rating
OBL: Obligate Wetland
Almost always is a hydrophyte, rarely in uplands (non-wetlands).
Fibrous-rooted, perennial plant, sprawling to erect c. 25 cm tall, hairless throughout, or slightly glandular-short-hairy among the flowers. Stems often purplish in colour. Leaves opposite, mostly linear to lanceolate, stalkless and mostly clasping, 1.5-7 (9) cm x 0.3-2 (2.5) cm wide, shallowly toothed to entire. Flowers many in elongated, long-stalked clusters from leaf axils. Sepals highly variable in form and size. Corolla pink or pinkish white 5-7 mm wide. Fruit a capsule almost round 3 mm across. Seeds numerous, 0.5 mm long or less.
Similar to V. anagallis-aquatic but V. catenata is smaller with much narrower leaves, the flowers stalk is more spreading, and the flowers are pink.
Summer - autumn
Temperate Eurasia, North America
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’.
Factsheet prepared by Paul Champion and Deborah Hofstra (NIWA).
References and further reading
Johnson PN, Brooke PA (1989). Wetland plants in New Zealand. DSIR Field Guide, DSIR Publishing, Wellington. 319pp.
Popay et al (2010). An illustrated guide to common weeds of New Zealand, third edition. NZ Plant Protection Society Inc, 416pp.