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Veronica beccabunga

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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Veronicaceae (Speedwell)
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
30 centimetres tall
Marshes, meadows, ponds, water, waterside, wetland, woodland.

Blue, 4 petals
The flowers of Brooklime (Veronica beccabunga) are small, delicate, and typically sky-blue in colour. They consist of four petals arranged in a cross-like pattern, which is a common characteristic of plants in the Veronica genus. These petals form clusters or spikes, creating a visually appealing display. The flowers are known for attracting pollinators like bees and butterflies, contributing to their role in the plant's reproduction. Overall, Brooklime flowers are a charming and distinctive feature of this aquatic plant.
The fruit of Brooklime (Veronica beccabunga) is a small, round capsule. This capsule contains several tiny seeds. When mature, the capsule splits open, releasing the seeds into the surrounding environment. The seeds are typically small and brown, adapted for dispersal by water or other means. The fruit of Brooklime is a crucial part of its reproductive cycle, ensuring the propagation and continued growth of the plant.
The leaves of Brooklime (Veronica beccabunga) are lance-shaped and can vary in size, with some leaves being relatively large. They are typically glossy and bright green. Brooklime exhibits a unique feature where it has two types of leaves: submerged and floating. Submerged leaves are finely divided and have a feathery appearance. These underwater leaves are adapted to function efficiently in the aquatic environment, where they can capture nutrients and photosynthesize. Floating leaves, on the other hand, are heart-shaped and float on the surface of the water. They have a different structure optimized for capturing sunlight and air exposure. These two types of leaves help Brooklime thrive in its semi-aquatic habitat, making it a versatile and adaptable plant.
Brooklime (Veronica beccabunga) does not have a significant fragrance. It is primarily appreciated for its visual appeal and edible leaves, rather than for any distinct or notable scent.
Other Names:
Becky Leaves, Cow Cress, European Speedwell, Limewort, Mouth Smart, Neckweed, Water Pimpernel, Water Purslane.
Frequency (UK):

Similar Species

Other Information


Veronica beccabunga, also known as Brooklime or European Speedwell, is a species of flowering plant in the plantain family. It is native to Europe, but has been introduced to other parts of the world, including North America. It is an aquatic plant that grows in shallow water or wet soil along streams, rivers, and ponds. It has erect, branching stems with small, oval-shaped leaves and clusters of small, blue or violet flowers. It is commonly used in gardens as an ornamental plant, and is also valued for its medicinal properties. It is easy to grow and requires little maintenance, making it a popular choice for gardeners.


Brooklime (Veronica beccabunga) is a flowering plant that belongs to the Plantaginaceae family. This plant is commonly found in wetlands, streams, and rivers in Europe, Asia, and North America. Brooklime is a hardy plant that is known for its ability to grow in difficult conditions and its stunning blue flowers that bloom from spring to summer.

The leaves of Brooklime are bright green, oval in shape, and have a smooth texture. The plant produces spikes of blue flowers that are small, but numerous, which makes it an attractive addition to any wetland or garden. The flowers are rich in nectar, which makes them a popular food source for bees and other pollinators.

One of the key characteristics of Brooklime is its ability to grow in harsh conditions, such as wet soil and shallow water. This makes it an ideal plant for creating habitats for aquatic wildlife, such as frogs and dragonflies. Brooklime is also useful for erosion control, as its strong roots help to anchor the soil and prevent soil erosion.

In addition to its practical benefits, Brooklime is also a beautiful plant that can add a pop of color to any wetland or garden. It is a great plant for gardeners who are looking for a low-maintenance option that will provide long-lasting beauty. Brooklime can be propagated easily by dividing the roots in the spring or by taking cuttings.

Brooklime is also known for its medicinal properties. The plant has been used for centuries as a traditional remedy for various ailments, including coughs, colds, and skin problems. The leaves of Brooklime contain compounds that have anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties, which makes it a useful herb for treating skin conditions and respiratory infections.

However, it is important to note that the medicinal properties of Brooklime should not be used as a substitute for conventional medical treatments. It is always best to consult a healthcare professional before using any herbal remedies.

In terms of care and maintenance, Brooklime is a low-maintenance plant that requires very little attention. It prefers wet soil, but can also tolerate drought conditions, which makes it a great option for gardeners who live in areas with varying water levels. The plant is also hardy and can withstand cold temperatures, which makes it an ideal plant for gardeners who live in temperate climates.

In terms of design, Brooklime can be used in a variety of ways in the garden. It is an excellent option for creating a natural-looking water feature or for adding color to a wetland area. Brooklime can also be used in rock gardens, as a groundcover, or as a border plant. The plant is also well-suited for container gardening, making it an excellent option for gardeners who want to add a touch of blue to their patios or balconies.

It's also worth mentioning that Brooklime is a popular choice for gardeners who are looking to create a wildlife-friendly garden. In addition to providing a food source for pollinators, Brooklime also provides shelter and habitat for aquatic insects and animals. The plant's roots provide a stable structure for these creatures to cling to, and the leaves provide a shady area for them to rest and hide from predators.

When it comes to planting Brooklime, it is best to plant it in a location that provides plenty of sunlight and moisture. The plant prefers wet soil and can even be planted in shallow water, making it a great option for water gardens. However, it is important to avoid planting Brooklime in stagnant water, as this can lead to the growth of harmful algae.

Brooklime can be easily propagated through division or by taking cuttings. To take cuttings, simply snip a stem of the plant and place it in a vase filled with water. Once the roots have formed, the cutting can be planted in the ground or a container. This is a great way to add more Brooklime to your garden without having to purchase additional plants.

Finally, it's important to note that Brooklime can spread aggressively in the right conditions. While this is beneficial in terms of erosion control, it can also become a problem in smaller gardens. To prevent Brooklime from taking over, simply remove any shoots that appear outside of the desired area.

In conclusion, Brooklime is a stunning and versatile plant that is well-suited for gardeners of all levels of experience. Whether you are looking to create a natural-looking water feature, attract pollinators to your garden, or simply add a touch of blue to your landscape.

30 Interesting Facts About Brooklime

Here are 30 interesting facts about Brooklime:

  1. Botanical Marvel: Brooklime is scientifically known as Veronica beccabunga and belongs to the Plantaginaceae family.

  2. Aquatic Plant: It's a semi-aquatic plant that thrives in or near water bodies like streams, ponds, and ditches.

  3. Abundant Growth: Brooklime can often be found forming dense mats in waterlogged areas.

  4. Beautiful Blooms: This plant produces small, sky-blue flowers with four petals that cluster in spikes.

  5. Edible Leaves: The leaves of Brooklime are edible and have a mildly peppery taste, making them suitable for salads and garnishes.

  6. Historical Medicinal Uses: In the past, Brooklime was used in herbal medicine to treat various ailments, including wounds and digestive issues.

  7. Attracts Wildlife: The plant's vibrant flowers attract pollinators like bees and butterflies.

  8. Habitat for Wildlife: Brooklime provides habitat and food for aquatic insects and small aquatic animals.

  9. Ancient Herb: It was mentioned in ancient texts as a valuable medicinal herb.

  10. Anti-Inflammatory: Brooklime was traditionally used to reduce inflammation and soothe skin irritations.

  11. Water Purification: Its roots help stabilize stream banks and improve water quality by filtering out impurities.

  12. Europe and Asia Native: Brooklime is native to Europe and Asia but has been introduced in other parts of the world.

  13. Aquatic Adaptations: It has special adaptations like submerged leaves that are finely divided and floating leaves that are heart-shaped.

  14. Perennial Growth: Brooklime is a perennial plant, which means it can live for several years.

  15. Common Names: It's also known by various common names like Water Speedwell and European Speedwell.

  16. Fast Spreader: Due to its rapid growth, it can sometimes become invasive in waterways.

  17. Symbiotic Relationships: It forms mutualistic relationships with mycorrhizal fungi to enhance nutrient uptake.

  18. Wildlife Food Source: Brooklime is a food source for waterfowl, small mammals, and some aquatic insects.

  19. Natural Dye: Historically, its leaves were used to produce green dyes.

  20. Seasonal Changes: The appearance of Brooklime can change with the seasons, especially in colder climates.

  21. Cold-Tolerant: It can withstand cold temperatures, making it a year-round presence in some regions.

  22. Medicinal Constituents: Brooklime contains compounds like aucubin, which have potential medicinal properties.

  23. Larval Host: Some butterfly species, like the orange tip butterfly, use Brooklime as a host plant for their larvae.

  24. Water Oxygenation: Its presence can help oxygenate the water in ponds and streams.

  25. Wetland Indicator: Brooklime is often considered an indicator of wetland health.

  26. Wildlife Refuge: It can provide cover and refuge for small aquatic animals.

  27. Traditional Wound Care: Poultices made from Brooklime leaves were historically applied to wounds.

  28. Cultural Significance: In some cultures, it has been associated with water nymphs and aquatic deities.

  29. Invasive Potential: Care should be taken when planting Brooklime in garden ponds, as it can become invasive.

  30. Native Uses: Indigenous peoples in some regions used Brooklime for food and traditional medicine.

These facts showcase the diversity and ecological significance of Brooklime, as well as its historical and cultural relevance.


Brooklime filmed at Carnforth in Lancashire on the 13th May 2023.


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