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Crested Field Speedwell

Veronica crista-galli

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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Plantaginaceae (Plantain)
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
50 centimetres tall
Gardens, meadows, riversides, roadsides, wasteland, waterside, woodland.

Blue, 4 petals
Dark blue flowers, white-centred. Flowers grow solitary, borne in the leaf axils. Flowers measure 5 to 7mm across.
The pointed sepals are fused together, enclosing a notched seed capsule.
An annual with oval, toothed leaves.
Other Names:
Cock's-crest Speedwell, Corn Speedwell, Crested Veronica, Crista-galli Speedwell.
Frequency (UK):
Rarely seen  

Similar Species

Other Information


Veronica crista-galli, also known as Crista-galli speedwell, is a species of flowering plant in the plantain family Plantaginaceae. It is native to Europe and Asia. The plant is a low growing perennial with creeping, woody stems that can root at the nodes. It has small, blue, white or pink flowers that are borne in clusters on spikes. The leaves are opposite, simple, and lanceolate. It is often found growing in damp, shady places such as meadows, woodlands, and along streams. The common name "Crista-galli" refers to the crest-like shape of the flowers, which have a protrusion on the upper lip. It is also used as a medicinal herb and a ornamental plant in the garden.


The Crested Field Speedwell, or Veronica crista-galli, is a beautiful and distinctive flowering plant native to Europe and Asia. With its tall spikes of bright blue-purple flowers and toothed, crinkly-edged leaves, it is a popular ornamental plant in gardens and parks throughout the world.

One of the most striking features of the Crested Field Speedwell is its flowers. They are made up of five petals and have a distinctive shape that is instantly recognizable. Each flower has a white center with a bright blue-purple outer ring, and they bloom in long spikes that can reach up to two feet in height. The flowers are a favorite of bees and other pollinators, making them a valuable addition to any garden.

The Crested Field Speedwell is a hardy plant that is easy to grow in a wide range of conditions. It prefers full sun to partial shade and well-drained soil, but it can tolerate a wide range of soil types and moisture levels. It is also relatively disease-resistant, making it a low-maintenance plant that is perfect for beginners or busy gardeners.

In addition to its beauty and ease of care, the Crested Field Speedwell has a number of other benefits. It is a valuable source of nectar for bees and other pollinators, and it can help attract beneficial insects to your garden. It is also used in herbal medicine for its anti-inflammatory properties and as a treatment for respiratory and digestive problems.

If you are interested in growing Crested Field Speedwell in your own garden, there are a few things to keep in mind. It is best to plant it in the spring or fall, and you should avoid planting it too close to other plants or structures, as it can spread rapidly and become invasive in some areas. It is also important to deadhead the flowers regularly to encourage new growth and prevent the plant from becoming too leggy.

The Crested Field Speedwell is a beautiful and valuable addition to any garden. With its stunning flowers, low-maintenance care, and numerous benefits, it is a plant that any gardener would be proud to grow. Whether you are a seasoned green thumb or just starting out, the Crested Field Speedwell is a plant that is sure to delight and inspire.

The Crested Field Speedwell is not only a popular ornamental plant but also has a rich history in folklore and traditional medicine. In European folklore, it was believed that carrying the flowers of the plant would provide protection against evil spirits and curses. It was also used in traditional medicine for a variety of ailments, including respiratory problems, indigestion, and skin conditions.

In addition to its medicinal uses, the Crested Field Speedwell has been used in culinary applications as well. The leaves and flowers of the plant are edible and can be used in salads, soups, and stews. They have a slightly bitter flavor and are rich in vitamins and minerals.

The Crested Field Speedwell is also known for its ability to attract wildlife to gardens and outdoor spaces. The flowers are a favorite of bees and other pollinators, and the plant is also a host for the larvae of some species of moths and butterflies. By growing this plant in your garden, you can help support local ecosystems and promote biodiversity.

In terms of cultivation, the Crested Field Speedwell is a relatively easy plant to grow. It can be propagated from seed or cuttings, and it thrives in well-draining soil with full sun to partial shade. It is a hardy plant that can tolerate a wide range of temperatures and soil conditions, making it a great choice for gardens in a variety of climates.

The Crested Field Speedwell is also commonly known as the "Crested Veronica" or "Corn Speedwell". It belongs to the plant family Plantaginaceae and is related to other popular garden plants such as snapdragons and foxgloves.

One of the key characteristics of the Crested Field Speedwell is its ability to self-seed, which means it can quickly spread and colonize new areas. While this trait can be beneficial in some cases, it can also lead to the plant becoming invasive in certain regions. As a result, it is important to monitor the plant's growth and take steps to prevent it from spreading uncontrollably.

If you are looking to incorporate Crested Field Speedwell into your garden or landscape, it pairs well with a variety of other plants, such as other perennials and annuals with similar sun and soil requirements. It also looks great in mixed borders and rock gardens, where its bright flowers can be showcased against a backdrop of other foliage.

In terms of maintenance, the Crested Field Speedwell is relatively low-maintenance. It requires moderate watering and benefits from regular deadheading to promote new blooms. While the plant is relatively disease-resistant, it can be susceptible to mildew and other fungal diseases in humid conditions, so it's important to provide good air circulation and avoid overwatering.

Overall, the Crested Field Speedwell is a versatile and valuable plant that can provide beauty, ecological benefits, and medicinal properties to any garden or outdoor space. Whether you are an experienced gardener or just starting out, the Crested Field Speedwell is a plant that is sure to bring joy and inspiration to your landscape.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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