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Common Field Speedwell

Veronica persica

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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
(in flower all year round)
Veronicaceae (Speedwell)
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
20 centimetres tall
Fields, gardens, grassland, lawns, meadows, parks, roadsides, scrub, towns, walls, wasteland.

Blue, 4 petals
4 sky blue petals with darker veins, white lower petal.
A flat and widely notched capsule with glandular hairs and two widely diverging lobes.
Mat-forming. Pale green, oval, short-stalked, large toothed leaves. The lower leaves are in opposite pairs but the upper leaves are arranged alternately along the stems.
Other Names:
Bird's-eye, Bird's-eye Speedwell, Buxbaum's Speedwell, Creeping Speedwell, Large Field Speedwell, Persian Speedwell, Scrambling Speedwell, Winter Speedwell.
Frequency (UK):

Similar Species

Other Information


Veronica persica is a species of flowering plant in the family Plantaginaceae. It is commonly known as Persian speedwell. It is native to Asia, particularly in Iran and surrounding countries. The plant is a herbaceous perennial with spikes of blue, pink or white flowers that bloom in the spring and summer. It is often used as a border plant, and also used in traditional medicine. The leaves are opposite, simple and oval-shaped. The plant prefers well-drained soil and full sun, it can grow up to 20cm tall and it is known to attract bees and other pollinators.


Common Field Speedwell, also known as Veronica persica, is a low-growing herbaceous plant that belongs to the Plantaginaceae family. It is a common weed in many parts of the world, including Europe, Asia, and North America. The plant is known for its small, delicate blue flowers that bloom in early spring, and its ability to grow and spread rapidly.

Physical Characteristics

Common Field Speedwell is a small, creeping plant that grows close to the ground. It typically reaches a height of only 5 to 10 cm and spreads through the formation of runners or stolons. The leaves are opposite, simple, and oval-shaped, with toothed margins. They are arranged in a rosette at the base of the plant and on the stems.

The flowers of Common Field Speedwell are small, blue, and four-petaled, with a white or pale center. They bloom in early spring and are produced in clusters at the ends of the stems. The fruit of the plant is a small, round capsule that contains many small seeds.

Habitat and Distribution

Common Field Speedwell is native to Europe and western Asia but has become naturalized in many other parts of the world. It is commonly found in disturbed habitats such as gardens, lawns, fields, and waste places. It grows in a wide range of soil types, from sandy to clay, and can tolerate both dry and moist conditions.


Common Field Speedwell has been used in traditional medicine for its anti-inflammatory, diuretic, and astringent properties. It has been used to treat a variety of ailments, including respiratory problems, digestive disorders, and urinary tract infections. The plant has also been used as a poultice to treat skin conditions such as eczema and rashes.

In modern times, Common Field Speedwell is not commonly used in medicine, but it is still enjoyed for its ornamental value. It is often grown as a groundcover in gardens and can be used to fill in gaps between other plants. The plant is also used in landscaping to create a low-maintenance lawn alternative.


Common Field Speedwell can become invasive and can quickly spread to areas where it is not wanted. The best way to control it is to prevent it from establishing in the first place. This can be done by maintaining a healthy lawn or garden and avoiding the introduction of the plant. If the plant has already established, it can be controlled by pulling it up by hand or using an herbicide.

Common Field Speedwell is a small, delicate plant that is known for its blue flowers and ability to spread quickly. Although it can be invasive, it is still enjoyed for its ornamental value and has been used in traditional medicine for its health benefits. Whether you love it or hate it, Common Field Speedwell is a fascinating plant that is worth learning about.

Ecological Importance

Common Field Speedwell is an important plant for pollinators such as bees and butterflies, as it provides an early source of nectar and pollen in the spring. The plant is also a host for the caterpillars of some butterfly species, including the Pearl-bordered Fritillary and Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary.

In addition, Common Field Speedwell plays a role in soil health. The plant has a fibrous root system that helps to prevent erosion and improves soil structure. As it decomposes, the plant also contributes to soil fertility by releasing nutrients back into the soil.

Cultural Significance

Common Field Speedwell has a long history of cultural significance in some parts of the world. In Europe, the plant was once associated with the goddess Venus and was used in love charms and spells. It was also believed to have the power to reveal the location of hidden treasure.

In Iran, Common Field Speedwell is known as "Sahar Khara" and is used as a traditional herbal remedy for a variety of ailments. The plant is also used in Iranian cuisine, where it is added to salads and soups.

Common Field Speedwell may be a common weed, but it is also a fascinating and valuable plant. Its delicate blue flowers, ecological importance, and cultural significance make it a plant worth learning about and appreciating. Whether you admire it for its ornamental value or use it for its medicinal properties, Common Field Speedwell is a plant that has much to offer.


Common Field Speedwell is easy to propagate and can be grown from seeds or stem cuttings. Seeds can be sown directly into the ground in the spring or fall, and the plant will readily self-seed if given the chance. Stem cuttings can be taken in the summer and rooted in a moist potting mix.

Uses in Traditional Medicine

Common Field Speedwell has been used in traditional medicine for centuries to treat a variety of ailments. In traditional Chinese medicine, the plant is known as "Xiao Bao Guo" and is used to treat respiratory conditions such as coughs, asthma, and bronchitis. In Western herbal medicine, Common Field Speedwell is used as an anti-inflammatory and diuretic, and is believed to be useful for treating conditions such as urinary tract infections, arthritis, and skin disorders.

Recent studies have investigated the potential health benefits of Common Field Speedwell, and have found that it contains compounds with anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antibacterial properties. However, more research is needed to determine the full extent of the plant's medicinal properties and how they can be used in modern medicine.

Invasive Potential

Although Common Field Speedwell is a useful plant in many ways, it can also be invasive and can quickly take over an area if left unchecked. The plant can outcompete native plants and reduce biodiversity, and can also be a nuisance in lawns and gardens. Therefore, it is important to be mindful of the plant's potential to become invasive, and to take steps to prevent its spread.

Common Field Speedwell is a plant with many fascinating qualities. Its delicate blue flowers, ecological importance, and cultural significance make it a valuable addition to any landscape. Whether you use it for its medicinal properties or simply enjoy its beauty, Common Field Speedwell is a plant that is worth getting to know. However, it is important to be aware of its potential to become invasive and to take steps to control its spread.

Uses in Culinary Arts

Common Field Speedwell is edible and has been used in culinary arts for centuries. The plant has a slightly bitter, peppery taste and is often added to salads, soups, and stews. In some parts of Europe, Common Field Speedwell is used to make a traditional springtime beverage known as "Gipfeli," which is a sweetened infusion made by steeping the plant in hot water.

In addition to its culinary uses, Common Field Speedwell has also been used to dye fabric. The plant produces a blue dye that was once used to color clothing and textiles.


In the language of flowers, Common Field Speedwell symbolizes fidelity, constancy, and steadfastness. This symbolism likely comes from the plant's ability to withstand harsh growing conditions and continue to thrive.

In some cultures, Common Field Speedwell is associated with good luck and is believed to bring prosperity and success. In other cultures, however, the plant is viewed as a symbol of sadness and grief, as its delicate blue flowers were once associated with death and mourning.

In modern times, Common Field Speedwell has become a popular ornamental plant for its attractive blue flowers and low-growing habit. It is often used in rock gardens, borders, and other landscaping applications.

In conclusion, Common Field Speedwell is a plant with a rich history and many fascinating qualities. From its ecological importance to its culinary and medicinal uses, the plant has much to offer. Whether you appreciate it for its beauty, or use it for its practical properties, Common Field Speedwell is a plant that is worth exploring.


Video 1: Common Field Speedwell filmed in Lancashire on the 29th August 2022.


Music credits
Alchemists Tower - Strings by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license.

Video 2: Common Field Speedwell filmed in Chorley, Lancashire on the 12th February 2023.


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