Germander Speedwell

©Lee Schofield

Germander speedwell

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Scientific name: Veronica chamaedrys
A good luck charm for travellers, Germander speedwell can be seen along roadsides, grassy lanes and hedgerows. Look for clumps of bright blue flowers.

Top facts

Stats

Height: up to 20cm

Conservation status

Common.

When to see

April to June

About

Considered a good luck charm for travellers, the bright blue flowers of Germander speedwell are meant to 'speed' you on your way. This reputation may well have come about because of its habit of forming large clumps in hedgerows, roadside verges and grassy lanes; it can also be found on grasslands and in open woodlands. The flowers appear from April to June.

What to look for

Germander speedwell a low-growing plant and one of a number of different speedwells. It has upright spikes of bright blue flowers with four petals and a white middle (giving it other common names such as 'Bird's Eye' and 'Cat's Eye'). It has two rows of long white hairs on opposite sites of its stems, unlike the rarer Wood Speedwell, which is hairy all round the stem.

Where to find

Widespread.

Did you know?

Germander speedwell is an excellent nectar source for solitary bees and can be grown in the garden. Its blue flowers look very pretty when carpeting a flowery meadow; keep the grass short in early spring to allow it to grow through, then raise the cutting level of your mower later on.