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Garden Speedwell

Veronica longifolia

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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Veronicaceae (Speedwell)
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
120 centimetres tall
Gardens, grassland, hedgerows, roadsides, wasteland.

Blue, 4 petals
The inflorescence is a very tall purplish-blue spike of flowers. The spike is longer than the similar looking Spiked Speedwell (Veronica spicata). The flowers are tubular. 2 stamens per flower. Pollinated by bees.
The smooth, hairless fruit is about 3mm in diameter. The fruit has a shallow notch at the end.
A woody perennial with long, narrow leaves. The lower leaves are in opposite pairs along the stems. The upper leaves are sometimes whorled in 3's up the stem. The leaves are short-stalked. Garden escape species.
Other Names:
Longleaf Speedwell, Long-leaved Speedwell.
Frequency (UK):

Similar Species

Other Information


Veronica longifolia is a species of flowering plant in the family Plantaginaceae. It is commonly known as long-leaved speedwell. It is native to Europe, Asia and North Africa. The plant is a herbaceous perennial with spikes of blue, pink or white flowers that bloom in the summer and spring. It is often used as a border plant, and also used in traditional medicine. The leaves are narrow and elongated and it prefers well-drained soil and full sun. The plant can grow up to 120 cm (48 inches) tall and it is known to attract butterflies and other pollinators.


Garden Speedwell, also known as Veronica longifolia, is a stunning perennial plant that belongs to the Plantaginaceae family. This plant is native to Europe and western Asia, but it has become popular among gardeners worldwide due to its beautiful flowers, easy care requirements, and versatility in landscaping.

In this blog post, we will take a closer look at Garden Speedwell, its characteristics, care requirements, and the benefits of having this plant in your garden.

Characteristics of Garden Speedwell

Garden Speedwell is a herbaceous perennial that can grow up to 4 feet tall and 2 feet wide. It has long, narrow leaves that are slightly toothed and grow in a basal rosette. The plant produces tall, slender spikes of small blue or purple flowers that bloom from mid-summer to early fall. The flowers are pollinated by bees and butterflies, which makes them an excellent addition to any pollinator-friendly garden.

Garden Speedwell is a hardy plant that can survive in USDA hardiness zones 3 to 8, which means it can tolerate cold winters and hot summers. It prefers full sun to partial shade and well-draining soil. It can also tolerate drought and is resistant to pests and diseases, making it an ideal plant for low-maintenance gardens.

Care Requirements for Garden Speedwell

Garden Speedwell is a low-maintenance plant that requires minimal care. Here are some tips on how to care for Garden Speedwell:

  1. Watering: Garden Speedwell prefers well-draining soil and can tolerate drought, so it does not require frequent watering. However, it is essential to water the plant regularly during the first few weeks after planting to help it establish its root system.

  2. Fertilizing: Garden Speedwell does not require regular fertilizing. However, adding a slow-release fertilizer during the growing season can help promote healthy growth and blooming.

  3. Pruning: Garden Speedwell does not require regular pruning, but cutting back the spent flower spikes can promote a second round of blooming in late summer.

  4. Mulching: Mulching around the base of the plant can help retain moisture and suppress weeds.

Benefits of Garden Speedwell

Garden Speedwell is a beautiful plant that offers several benefits to your garden. Here are some of the benefits of having Garden Speedwell in your garden:

  1. Attracts pollinators: Garden Speedwell produces small blue or purple flowers that attract bees and butterflies, which helps promote pollination in your garden.

  2. Low maintenance: Garden Speedwell is a hardy plant that requires minimal care, making it an ideal plant for low-maintenance gardens.

  3. Versatile: Garden Speedwell is a versatile plant that can be used in various landscaping applications, including borders, rock gardens, and cottage gardens.

  4. Long blooming period: Garden Speedwell produces blooms from mid-summer to early fall, which makes it a great plant for adding color to your garden during the late summer months.

Garden Speedwell is a beautiful and versatile plant that offers several benefits to your garden. With its stunning blue or purple flowers, low-maintenance requirements, and ability to attract pollinators, Garden Speedwell is an excellent addition to any garden. So, if you're looking for a plant that can add color and beauty to your garden, consider adding Garden Speedwell to your landscaping.

Garden Speedwell is also commonly used in traditional medicine for its various health benefits. The plant contains several compounds, including iridoids, flavonoids, and saponins, that have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antibacterial properties. Some traditional uses of Garden Speedwell include treating respiratory infections, digestive disorders, and skin irritations.

In addition to its medicinal properties, Garden Speedwell has a rich cultural history. In folklore, the plant was associated with magic and was believed to ward off evil spirits. The plant was also used in medieval times to treat wounds and bruises, and it was believed to have a soothing effect on the mind and body.

Garden Speedwell is also an important plant in the ecology of meadows and grasslands, where it provides food and shelter for a variety of insects and other wildlife. It is often found growing in association with other wildflowers and grasses, forming a diverse and biodiverse ecosystem.

Garden Speedwell is a valuable and versatile plant that offers numerous benefits to gardens, ecosystems, and human health. Whether you're a gardener, a herbalist, or simply someone who appreciates the beauty and complexity of the natural world, Garden Speedwell is a plant worth getting to know.

If you are planning to add Garden Speedwell to your garden, there are several varieties to choose from. Some of the most popular cultivars include 'Blauriesin', which has deep blue flowers and a compact growth habit, 'Charlotte', which has pink flowers and a clump-forming habit, and 'Rosea', which has pale pink flowers and a spreading growth habit.

Garden Speedwell can be propagated by division or by taking stem cuttings in late spring or early summer. To propagate by division, dig up the plant in the spring or fall and separate the clumps into smaller sections, each with its own roots and leaves. To propagate by stem cuttings, take a 3 to 4-inch cutting from a healthy stem, remove the lower leaves, and plant the cutting in a pot or directly in the ground. Keep the soil moist and provide bright, indirect light until the cutting roots and begins to grow.

In terms of design, Garden Speedwell can be used in a variety of ways in the garden. It can be used as a border plant, where its tall, spiky flowers can provide a vertical accent to a flower bed. It can also be used as a filler plant in cottage gardens, where its informal growth habit and delicate flowers can complement other wildflowers and herbs. Garden Speedwell can also be used as a ground cover or in rock gardens, where its low-growing habit and ability to tolerate dry soil can be an advantage.

In conclusion, Garden Speedwell is a beautiful and versatile plant that offers numerous benefits to gardens, ecosystems, and human health. With its stunning flowers, easy care requirements, and ability to attract pollinators and other wildlife, Garden Speedwell is a must-have plant for any garden enthusiast.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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