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Wood Speedwell

Veronica montana

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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Veronicaceae (Speedwell)
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
30 centimetres tall
Gardens, hedgerows, meadows, mountains, riverbanks, riversides, rocky places, scrub, waterside, woodland.

Blue, 4 petals
Pale lilac blue flowers with darker streaks. There are two similar looking species but they both have different flower sizes and colours. The flowers of Germander Speedwell (Veronica chamaedrys) are much paler and smaller. The flowers of Heath Speedwell (Veronica officinalis) are bigger and bluer. All three species have their flowers arranged in spikes up the stem.
Disc-like fruit with blunt sepal-teeth.
A sprawling perennial with very hairy stems. The leaves are stalked, oval, pale yellow-green and deeply toothed.
Other Names:
Alpine Speedwell, Mountain Speedwell.
Frequency (UK):

Similar Species

Other Information


Veronica montana 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 10-30 cm tall, with blue or purple flowers that appear in spikes. The leaves are glossy green and are arranged opposite each other on the stem. The plant is commonly known as mountain speedwell or alpine speedwell. It is often found in alpine and subalpine meadows, rocky outcrops, and along streams and rivers. It is a hardy plant that can tolerate cold temperatures and is often used in rock gardens and as a ground cover.


Wood Speedwell, also known as Veronica montana, is a beautiful and versatile plant that is often used in gardens and landscaping projects. This hardy perennial plant is native to Europe, and it has naturalized in many parts of North America. In this blog, we'll explore some of the key features of Wood Speedwell, and why it's such a popular choice for gardeners and landscapers.

Appearance and Growth Habits

Wood Speedwell is a low-growing plant that typically reaches a height of 6-12 inches (15-30 cm), with a spread of 12-18 inches (30-45 cm). It has a clumping growth habit, and its foliage is made up of small, oval-shaped leaves that are deep green in color. The leaves are semi-evergreen, meaning that they will remain green in mild winter climates.

The plant produces small, blue or purple flowers that are arranged in dense spikes, which can reach up to 4 inches (10 cm) in length. The flowers bloom from late spring to early summer and are attractive to pollinators like bees and butterflies. After the flowers have faded, the plant will produce small, brownish seed capsules that can be harvested and saved for future planting.


Wood Speedwell is a relatively easy plant to grow, and it thrives in a wide range of growing conditions. It prefers full sun to partial shade and well-drained soil that is rich in organic matter. The plant is tolerant of a range of soil types, including sandy and clay soils. It's also drought-tolerant, which makes it a good choice for areas with limited water availability.


Wood Speedwell can be propagated by seed or by dividing established plants. Seeds can be sown in the fall or early spring, and they should be covered lightly with soil. The plant can also be propagated by division, which involves separating a clump of the plant and replanting the individual sections. This should be done in the spring or fall when the plant is not in active growth.


Wood Speedwell is a versatile plant that can be used in a variety of garden and landscaping settings. Its low-growing habit and attractive foliage make it a good choice for ground cover, and its showy flowers can be used to add color and interest to garden borders and beds. The plant also works well in rock gardens and as a filler plant between stepping stones or pavers.

In addition to its ornamental uses, Wood Speedwell has some practical applications as well. The plant has been used in traditional medicine to treat a range of ailments, including coughs, colds, and digestive issues. The leaves and stems can be used to make a tea or infusion, which is believed to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.


Wood Speedwell is a beautiful and versatile plant that can be a valuable addition to any garden or landscaping project. With its attractive foliage, showy flowers, and easy-to-grow nature, it's no wonder that this plant has become a favorite of gardeners and landscapers around the world. Whether you're looking for a ground cover, border plant, or a filler for your rock garden, Wood Speedwell is definitely worth considering.

More Information

Here are some additional facts about Wood Speedwell that might be of interest:

  • Wood Speedwell is a member of the plant family Plantaginaceae, which also includes other familiar plants like foxgloves, snapdragons, and penstemons.

  • In addition to its traditional medicinal uses, Wood Speedwell has been studied for its potential as a source of natural pesticides. Some of the compounds in the plant have been shown to have insecticidal and antifungal properties.

  • Wood Speedwell is sometimes called "creeping Speedwell" because of its low-growing habit and tendency to spread slowly.

  • While Wood Speedwell is generally considered to be a low-maintenance plant, it can be susceptible to powdery mildew, a fungal disease that can cause leaves to become discolored and distorted. To prevent powdery mildew, it's important to plant Wood Speedwell in a location with good air circulation, and to avoid overhead watering.

  • Wood Speedwell is sometimes confused with another plant called Veronica spicata, which has similar flowers and growth habits. However, Veronica spicata is taller and has narrower leaves than Wood Speedwell.

Overall, Wood Speedwell is a lovely and versatile plant that can add beauty and interest to a wide range of garden and landscaping projects. Whether you're a seasoned gardener or a beginner, this plant is definitely worth considering for its many attractive features and easy-to-grow nature.

Here are a few more interesting facts about Wood Speedwell:

  • Wood Speedwell is often grown as a ground cover because it spreads slowly and can form a dense mat of foliage. This makes it an excellent choice for suppressing weeds and stabilizing soil on slopes.

  • In addition to its ornamental and medicinal uses, Wood Speedwell has also been used in traditional dyeing. The plant contains a blue dye that can be extracted from its flowers and leaves, and it has been used to dye textiles and other materials for centuries.

  • Wood Speedwell is a hardy plant that can tolerate temperatures down to about -30°F (-34°C). This makes it a good choice for gardeners in colder climates who are looking for plants that can survive harsh winters.

  • The genus name for Wood Speedwell, Veronica, comes from the Latin word "vera," which means "true." This is thought to be a reference to the plant's traditional medicinal uses, which were thought to be "true" or effective.

  • Wood Speedwell is a favorite plant of many pollinators, including bees, butterflies, and moths. Its flowers are a good source of nectar and pollen, and they can help to support local ecosystems and biodiversity.

Overall, Wood Speedwell is a fascinating and beautiful plant that has a lot to offer gardeners, landscapers, and nature enthusiasts alike. With its attractive flowers, versatile growth habits, and rich cultural history, it's easy to see why this plant has become such a popular choice for so many different applications.


Wood Speedwell filmed in Chorley, Lancashire on the 2nd May 2023.


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