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  • Veronica officinalis Common speedwell Z 3-7

    Mat-forming perennial with spikes of blue flowers with darker blue stripes on the petals, May-August

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    Mat-forming perennial with spikes of blue flowers with darker blue stripes on the petals, May-August

    Size: 4-12” x 6”
    Care: sun in dry, well-drained soil
    Native: Europe and Asia
    Wildlife Value: attracts bees

    Used in European traditional medicine as a cough remedy and tonic as well as a salve. Used for centuries as a cure-all medicinal as long ago as ancient Rome.

  • Veronica porphyriana Z 3-8

    June – September short blue-purple spikes bloom from slowily creeping mat of foliage

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    June – September short blue-purple spikes bloom from slowily creeping mat of foliage

    Size: 6-8” x 12”
    Care: sun to part shade in well-drained soil
    Native: Siberia, Mongolia & Kazakhstan

    Collected by 1950

  • Veronica prostrata syn. V. rupestris Sprawling speedwell, Harebell speedwelll Z 4-8

    From midspring to midsummer short blue spikes above prostrate foliage.

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    From midspring to midsummer short blue spikes above prostrate foliage.

    Size: 6” x 18”spreads
    Care: sun to part shade in moist well-drained soil.
    Native: Europe
    Wildlife Value: Deer and rabbit resistant.
    Awards: Royal Horticultural Society Award of Garden Merit.

    In gardens since at least 1762 (Linnaeus). Bloomed for 4 or more months in rock garden at Edinburgh Botanic Garden (The Garden, Jan. 1876.)

  • Veronica repens Creeping speedwell Z 5-9

    Palest of blue blooms in spring

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    Palest of blue blooms in spring on this low, creeping groundcover. Best for rock gardens, troughs, or front of the border.

    Size: 2” x 8-12”
    Care: full sun to part shade in moist to moist well-drained soil
    Native: Corsica

    According to Christian tradition, as Jesus carried the cross to Calvary a woman wiped his face with her handkerchief, leaving the imprint of Christ’s features, the vera iconica, meaning “the true likeness.”  When the Catholic Church canonized the woman the Church named her Saint Veronica.  Medieval gardeners named the plant after her due to a perceived likeness of the flower to her handkerchief.  This species collected by 1800.  According to William Robinson, father of the mixed perennial garden, Veronica repens “clothes the soil with a soft carpet of bright green foliage, covered in spring with pale bluish flowers.”