Fig. 268. - Common Speedwell (Veronica officinalis). X 1/2.
Seed-time: Late May until snow-covered.
Range: Labrador to Alaska, southward to the Gulf of Mexico.
Habitat: Moist grass lands, waste places.
One of the commonest of pasture weeds the world over, but so small and inconspicuous that it is hardly noticed until it monopolizes much of the ground. Often called "Creeping Speedwell" because it lies so close to the earth, rooting at nearly every joint and erecting only its flowering stalks. Much trampling from the sharp hoofs of cattle and sheep does it no harm, for, though cut all to bits, the fragments take root and continue to grow.
Stems two to ten inches long, smooth or only slightly hairy, branching on all sides from the root. Lower leaves opposite, ovate, rounded, nearly smooth, with short petioles; those on the erect part of the stems alternate, sessile, narrow, becoming mere lance-shaped bracts in the axils of which sit the tiny flowers; these are similar to the preceding species in structure, pale blue or white, striped with darker color, and less than a quarter-inch broad. Capsules broadly heart-shaped, nearly as large as the flowers, containing many yellow, flattened seeds as fine as dust.
Means of control the same as for the Common Speedwell.