Veronica spicata L.
Family - Scrophulariaceae
Stems - Multiple from base, erect, to +50cm tall, herbaceous, purplish near base, glabrous below, tomentose above, simple or branching near apex.
Leaves - Opposite, petiolate, decussate, reduced upward. Petiole to 1cm long, with some pubescence on margins. Blade ovate to lanceolate, crenate-serrate, to +10cm long, +5cm broad, glabrous or with hairs on midrib above.
Inflorescence - Dense indeterminate spikiform raceme to +25cm tall (long). Pedicels to 1.5mm long. Each flower subtended by a minute lanceolate bract to 2mm(longer in fruit).
Flowers - Corolla deep purple, 8-9m broad, 4-lobed, zygomorphic. Corolla tube with some whitish coloring at base, 3mm long, glabrous externally, crinite internally. Lobes mostly obtuse, to 3.7mm long. Stamens 2, erect, exserted, adnate near apex of corolla tube, alternating with upper petals. Filaments violet, 6mm long, glabrous. Anthers violet, 1.3mm long. Style violet, glabrous, 7mm long. Ovary green, superior, densely pubescent, subglobose, 1.1mm in diameter, 2-locular. Calyx 4-lobed. Calyx tube to 1mm long, densely pubescent. Lobes to 2.3mm long, 1.3mm broad, subequal, with ciliate margins, typically acute with one lobe being blunt.
Flowering - April - June.
Habitat - Cultivated.
Origin - Native to Europe.
Other info. - I added this plant to the website because it seems to be frequently cultivated in Missouri. The plant is perennial and can be divided each year for further propogation. Many varieties exist and I won't even begin to get into them. Some varieties have taller or shorter stems and others have different colored flowers. The plant is great in butterfly gardens.
Photographs taken at the Kansas City Zoo, 5-2-00.