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Spiked Speedwell

Veronica spicata

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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Veronicaceae (Speedwell)
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
60 centimetres tall
Cliffs, fields, gardens, grassland, meadows, rocky places, woodland.

Blue, 4 petals
The flowers of Spiked Speedwell exhibit a striking blue hue, occasionally manifesting in shades of pink or purple in cultivated varieties. These cylindrical spikes, composed of numerous tiny blossoms, rise elegantly from the foliage. Each individual flower showcases delicate petals, forming a captivating contrast against the lance-shaped, toothed leaves that adorn the stem. In the summer months, typically from June to August, these blooms adorn the landscape, attracting an array of pollinators such as bees and butterflies with their alluring hues and sweet nectar.
Following the flowering period Spiked Speedwell produces small, rounded fruits known as capsules. These capsules contain numerous tiny seeds and are borne on the stems among the fading flowers. Upon maturation, the capsules split open, releasing the seeds into the surrounding environment. The seeds are dispersed by various means, including wind, animals, and water, aiding in the plant's reproduction and colonization of new areas.
The leaves of Spiked Speedwell are lanceolate in shape, featuring prominent serrations along the edges. Arranged oppositely along the stem, these verdant foliage impart a lush, green appearance to the plant. The leaves are relatively narrow, tapering to a point at the tip and gradually narrowing towards the base where they attach to the stem. Their arrangement provides an attractive backdrop for the plant's vibrant flowers, enhancing its overall aesthetic appeal.
Spiked Speedwell typically does not possess a strong scent. The plant is primarily appreciated for its visual appeal rather than its fragrance. While some individuals may detect a subtle, earthy aroma when in close proximity to the flowers, it is generally not a significant characteristic of the plant. Instead, Spiked Speedwell captivates observers with its vibrant colours and delicate blooms, inviting admiration through sight rather than scent.
Other Names:
Garden Veronica, Spike Speedwell, Spike-leaved Speedwell.
Frequency (UK):

Similar Species

Other Information


Veronica spicata is a species of flowering plant in the family Plantaginaceae. It is commonly known as spike speedwell or garden veronica. It is native to Europe, but has been introduced to other parts of the world, including North America. The plant is a herbaceous perennial with spikes of blue, purple, pink, or white flowers that bloom in the summer. It is often used as a border plant, and also used in traditional medicine. It is known to be drought tolerant and attracts a variety of pollinators.


Spiked Speedwell, also known as Veronica spicata, is a herbaceous perennial plant that belongs to the Plantaginaceae family. This attractive ornamental plant is a popular choice among gardeners due to its stunning blue-purple flower spikes, which bloom in summer and are known to attract butterflies and bees.

Spiked Speedwell is native to Europe, but it is also found in parts of Asia and North Africa. In its natural habitat, it can be found growing in meadows, pastures, and woodland edges. The plant prefers well-drained soil and full sun to partial shade.

The plant has a bushy habit and typically grows to a height of around 18 to 24 inches, with a spread of up to 18 inches. The lance-shaped leaves are arranged in opposite pairs along the stem, and they are typically around 2 to 4 inches long. The flower spikes are held above the foliage and can grow up to 8 inches long, making a bold statement in the garden.

Spiked Speedwell is a low-maintenance plant and is relatively easy to grow, making it an ideal choice for beginner gardeners. It is drought-tolerant and requires little water once established, making it a good choice for areas with low rainfall. The plant is also relatively disease-resistant and pest-free, making it a hassle-free addition to any garden.

To grow Spiked Speedwell, start by selecting a site with well-drained soil and full sun to partial shade. Plant the seeds or seedlings in the spring or fall and water regularly until they become established. Once established, the plant requires little care, but it can be pruned after flowering to promote bushier growth.

Spiked Speedwell is a versatile plant that can be used in a variety of garden settings. It can be used as a border plant, a mass planting, or as an accent in a mixed border. It also pairs well with other sun-loving perennials such as coneflowers, black-eyed Susans, and salvia.

Spiked Speedwell is a lovely and low-maintenance plant that can add a pop of color and interest to any garden. With its attractive blue-purple flower spikes and easy-care nature, it is an excellent choice for both experienced and beginner gardeners alike.

Spiked Speedwell is also an excellent choice for pollinator-friendly gardens. Its showy flowers are highly attractive to bees, butterflies, and other pollinators, making it an essential addition to any garden that aims to support and protect these vital insects. As a result, planting Spiked Speedwell can help to promote biodiversity and improve the health of the ecosystem in your garden.

The plant is also known for its medicinal properties. Historically, Spiked Speedwell has been used in traditional medicine to treat a range of ailments, including respiratory and digestive issues. Its leaves were commonly used to make tea, and its roots were used to create a poultice to treat wounds and bruises. While its traditional uses are still being studied by modern science, the plant is widely considered safe for consumption in small amounts.

In terms of its ornamental value, Spiked Speedwell is a favorite among gardeners due to its striking appearance. Its flower spikes provide an excellent vertical accent in the garden, and its blue-purple color pairs well with a wide range of other colors. The plant is also highly adaptable and can thrive in a range of soil types and light conditions, making it a versatile addition to any garden.

Spiked Speedwell is an excellent choice for anyone looking for an attractive, low-maintenance plant that also provides value to pollinators and may have medicinal properties. Its easy care and adaptability make it an excellent choice for beginner gardeners, while its showy flowers and height make it a statement piece in any garden.

Another interesting fact about Spiked Speedwell is that it has a long history of use in traditional folklore and superstition. For example, it was believed to have the power to ward off evil spirits, and its flowers were often placed in homes to bring good luck and protection.

Additionally, Spiked Speedwell has been used in herbal remedies for a variety of purposes. Its dried leaves have been used to create a tea that is said to help with respiratory issues, while its roots have been used to create a poultice that can be applied to the skin to help with wounds and bruises. While more research is needed to fully understand the medicinal properties of Spiked Speedwell, its historical use in traditional medicine suggests that it may have potential benefits.

It's also worth noting that there are several different cultivars of Spiked Speedwell available, each with slightly different characteristics. For example, 'Royal Candles' is a popular cultivar that produces compact, upright spikes of blue-purple flowers, while 'Sunny Border Blue' has slightly larger flowers and a more sprawling habit. As such, gardeners looking to add Spiked Speedwell to their gardens have several options to choose from, each with its own unique qualities.

In conclusion, Spiked Speedwell is a versatile, low-maintenance plant that offers both ornamental and potential medicinal value. Its striking blue-purple flowers, adaptability, and ease of care make it an excellent choice for a wide range of garden settings, while its potential benefits to pollinators and in traditional medicine make it a plant of interest for those looking for added value.

30 Spiked Speedwell Facts

  1. Spiked Speedwell (Veronica spicata) is a perennial herbaceous plant native to Europe and Asia.
  2. It belongs to the family Plantaginaceae and is commonly found in meadows, grasslands, and open woodlands.
  3. The name "spiked" refers to the dense, cylindrical spikes of flowers that rise from the foliage.
  4. Spiked Speedwell typically grows to a height of about 1 to 2 feet (30 to 60 cm).
  5. It has lance-shaped, toothed leaves arranged oppositely along the stem.
  6. The flowers of Spiked Speedwell are usually blue, but cultivars may also produce pink, purple, or white blooms.
  7. Flowering occurs in summer, typically from June to August, attracting pollinators such as bees and butterflies.
  8. Spiked Speedwell is commonly cultivated as an ornamental plant in gardens for its attractive flowers and ability to attract pollinators.
  9. It is also known by other common names, including Veronica, Speedwell, and Bird's Eye.
  10. Spiked Speedwell is valued for its long-lasting blooms, making it a popular choice for cut flower arrangements.
  11. The plant prefers well-drained soil and full sun to partial shade.
  12. It is relatively low maintenance and drought tolerant once established.
  13. Spiked Speedwell can spread through rhizomes, forming dense clumps over time.
  14. Some cultivars of Spiked Speedwell have been bred for compact growth habits, making them suitable for small gardens or containers.
  15. The species name "spicata" is derived from the Latin word "spica," meaning spike, referring to the plant's flower spike.
  16. Spiked Speedwell has been used in traditional medicine for its astringent properties and was believed to have medicinal value in treating various ailments.
  17. In folklore, Spiked Speedwell was sometimes associated with magical properties or used in spells and rituals.
  18. The plant may self-seed under favorable conditions, leading to naturalization in some areas outside its native range.
  19. Spiked Speedwell is not considered invasive but can become weedy in certain habitats.
  20. It is a valuable source of nectar for pollinators and supports biodiversity in gardens and natural landscapes.
  21. Some cultivars of Spiked Speedwell have variegated foliage, adding visual interest to garden beds.
  22. The plant is relatively deer resistant, making it suitable for landscapes where deer browsing is a concern.
  23. Spiked Speedwell can be propagated by division in spring or fall, making it easy to propagate and share with other gardeners.
  24. It is susceptible to powdery mildew and rust diseases in humid conditions but is generally resistant to most pests and diseases.
  25. Spiked Speedwell is sometimes used as a ground cover in sunny to partially shaded areas.
  26. The plant has a fibrous root system that helps prevent soil erosion on slopes or banks.
  27. It is suitable for xeriscaping and water-wise landscaping due to its low water requirements once established.
  28. Spiked Speedwell can be grown as a companion plant to attract beneficial insects such as predatory wasps and hoverflies.
  29. In some cultures, the flowers of Spiked Speedwell were used to make dyes for textiles or to color food.
  30. Spiked Speedwell has been hybridized with other Veronica species to create new cultivars with unique flower colors and characteristics.


Spiked Speedwell filmed at Jenny Brown's Point near Silverdale, Lancashire on the 28th August 2023.


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