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Heath Speedwell

A plant forming mats with delicate mauve flowers and found on heathlands and acid grassland.



  • Heath Speedwell: common gipsyweed

    Post date: Thursday, 29 October, 2015 - 00:00

    Although heath speedwell (Veronica officinalis) has the classic 'speedwell' petal arrangement with three rounded petals above a single pointed one it is not always immediately obvious that this plant is a speedwell because each flower is so small. When you examine it more closely it becomes more obvious that it is the same family as the more familar germander speedwell of thre common field speedwell, often known as bird's-eye.

    Heath speedwell is an attractive little plant that grows on heath or acid grassland. It forms mats of haisy lttle plants with each stem having a spike of small mauve, sometimes purple, flowers.  It flowers from May until August and is not that common but where it occurs there is usually quite a lot of it.

    Also known as common gipsyweed it has medicinal properties and has been used for calming coughs and settling digestive disorders. Back in the 19th Century the French also used the leaves to make a tea (thanks Wikipedia for that gem). 


Common Name Heath Speedwell
Scientific Name Veronica officinalis
Species Group Speedwell Family Veronicaceae
Interest Level
Look for
Identification Notes
Primary Habitat
Family Figwort family - Scrophulariaceae
Status Locally frequent
Flower Colour Group Purple
  • 05 - May
  • 06 - June
  • 07 - July
  • 08 - August
Preferred Environment
Look for A short hairy plant with spike of pale purple flowers
Additional Identification Notes
Similar Species

The records for this species have been organised into reports, charts, maps and photos. Click a pic below to see the detail:

Notebook Distribution Map Sites List Some Charts Some Photographs Recent Records Guidance Notes

To see related species click here: 

Speedwell Family Veronicaceae