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Slender Speedwell

Veronica filiformis

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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Plantaginaceae (Plantain)
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
15 centimetres tall
Grassland, lawns, meadows, roadsides, waterside.

Blue, 4 petals
Solitary lilac-to-pale blue-coloured flowers, white-tipped.
The fruit capsules are rarely produced.
A mat-forming flower which spreads by stolons. Kidney-shaped, blunt-toothed, stalked leaves. The leaves appear mostly in opposite pairs along their stems. Downy stems. Perennial.
Other Names:
Caucasian Speedwell, Creeping Speedwell, Round-leaved Speedwell, Thread-leaved Speedwell, Threadstalk Speedwell, Whetzel Weed.
Frequency (UK):

Other Information


Veronica filiformis is a species of flowering plant in the plantain family Plantaginaceae, native to Europe and Asia. It is a herbaceous perennial plant that typically grows to be 10-15 cm tall and it has narrow, grass-like leaves. The flowers are blue, violet or white and are produced in spikes. The plant is commonly known as slender speedwell or thread-leaved speedwell. It is often found in grassland, meadows, and along roadsides. It is also considered as a weed in some places.


Slender Speedwell, also known as Veronica filiformis, is a delicate, low-growing perennial herb that is native to Europe but has become naturalized in many parts of the world. This plant belongs to the plant family Plantaginaceae, and is commonly found in open, sunny areas, such as meadows, grasslands, and along roadsides.

Slender Speedwell is a small plant, usually growing to a height of about 5-15cm (2-6 inches). It has slender, branching stems with small, narrow leaves that are green in color and often tinged with purple. The leaves are arranged oppositely along the stem and are about 1-2cm (0.4-0.8 inches) long.

The flowers of Slender Speedwell are small, with four petals that are blue or occasionally pinkish. The flowers are borne on long, slender stalks that arise from the leaf axils. The plant blooms from April to June and is an important source of nectar for bees and other pollinators.

Slender Speedwell is a hardy plant that is well-suited to a wide range of growing conditions. It prefers well-drained soils and full sun, but it can also tolerate partial shade and some moisture. It is often used as a ground cover in rock gardens, borders, and other ornamental plantings.

One of the benefits of Slender Speedwell is its medicinal properties. It has been traditionally used in herbal medicine for a variety of ailments, including respiratory disorders, fever, and as a diuretic. Studies have also shown that extracts from Slender Speedwell have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, which could make it useful in treating conditions such as arthritis and other inflammatory diseases.

Slender Speedwell is a small, but valuable plant with many uses. Its delicate beauty and hardiness make it a popular ornamental plant, while its medicinal properties make it an important herb in traditional medicine. Whether you are a gardener looking for a low-maintenance ground cover or a natural health enthusiast seeking a new herbal remedy, Slender Speedwell is definitely worth considering.

More Information

Here are some additional facts about Slender Speedwell:

  • Slender Speedwell is also known by several other common names, including Threadstalk Speedwell, Slender Veronica, and Narrow-leaved Speedwell.

  • In its native range, Slender Speedwell is found in a variety of habitats, including sand dunes, cliffs, and rocky slopes. It is also known to grow in disturbed areas such as railway lines and quarries.

  • The plant can be propagated by seed, which should be sown in early spring or autumn. It can also be propagated by dividing the rootball in spring or early autumn.

  • Slender Speedwell is an important food plant for the larvae of several butterfly species, including the Common Blue and Holly Blue butterflies.

  • The plant is also attractive to other insects, such as hoverflies and beetles, which feed on its nectar and pollen.

  • Slender Speedwell is often used in traditional medicine as a treatment for coughs, colds, and other respiratory conditions. It is also believed to have astringent and diuretic properties, which can help to reduce inflammation and promote the flow of urine.

  • Some studies have suggested that Slender Speedwell may have potential as a natural treatment for certain types of cancer, although more research is needed in this area.

  • In addition to its medicinal properties, Slender Speedwell has been used in traditional folklore as a protective charm against evil spirits and witches.

Overall, Slender Speedwell is a fascinating and versatile plant with many uses and benefits. Whether you are interested in gardening, natural health remedies, or simply appreciating the beauty of nature, this little herb is definitely worth getting to know.

Slender Speedwell is a popular choice for rock gardens and alpine gardens. It is a low-growing plant that creates a mat of foliage and tiny blue flowers that bloom in early spring. Because of its adaptability to different growing conditions, Slender Speedwell is also a good choice for borders, containers, and other ornamental plantings.

One interesting feature of Slender Speedwell is that it is an indicator of soil pH. The plant prefers slightly acidic to neutral soils, but it can also grow in alkaline soils. However, when Slender Speedwell is grown in alkaline soils, the leaves often turn yellow and the plant may not grow as well. This can be a useful clue for gardeners who are trying to determine the pH of their soil.

In addition to its ornamental and medicinal uses, Slender Speedwell has also been used for culinary purposes. The plant has a slightly bitter flavor and can be used as a salad green or added to soups and stews. It can also be used to flavor vinegar or as a garnish for desserts.

Slender Speedwell is easy to grow from seed and can be sown directly in the garden in spring or autumn. The plant prefers well-drained soils and full sun, but it can also tolerate partial shade. Once established, Slender Speedwell is a low-maintenance plant that requires little care other than occasional watering during dry periods.

In conclusion, Slender Speedwell is a fascinating and versatile plant that has many uses and benefits. From its ornamental beauty to its medicinal properties and culinary uses, this little herb is a valuable addition to any garden or landscape. Whether you are interested in natural remedies, cooking, or simply enjoying the beauty of nature, Slender Speedwell is definitely a plant worth exploring.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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