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Double Trouble? Veronica hederifolia (r) and V montana, sketchbook entry

Double Trouble? Veronica hederifolia (r) and V montana, sketchbook entry

Inconspicuous but ubiquitous, here are 2 common veronica species which grow alongside each other in the woodlands and shady path edges. First is Ivy-leaved Speedwell Veronica hederifolia which has already finished flowering by late May.

V hederifoila showing prostrate habit, in shade. By end May already at end of flowering period.

V hederifoila showing prostrate habit, in shade. By end May already at end of flowering period.

Lobed leaves and globular fruit. Cordate base to calyx lobes.

Lobed leaves and globular fruit. Cordate base to calyx lobes.

Single flowers, (as opposed to racemes) grow from from the axils of the leaves. The fruit are almost totally covered by the sepals, with their distinctive cordate bases. The fruit are hairless and globular almost like minute apples. The lobed leaves are palmately veined with only 2 or 3 pairs of  lobes on each side. Note small stem hairs in lines.

V montana. Hairy throughout. Stalked leaves. Racemes from leaf axils.

V montana. Hairy throughout. Stalked leaves. Racemes from leaf axils.

Wood speedwell Veronica montana  also has flowers growing on stalks from the leaf axils on the main stem. However the flowers of this species are not borne singly from the leaf axil, but in a raceme (this is still of course visible when in fruit; see sketch). 

patent often gland tipped hairs.

patent often gland tipped hairs.

Of course the habit of V montana is very different from V hederifolia being much more erect. Other noticeable differences are the shape of the leaves, V montana being more elongated and with pinnate venation. The fruit are also much more flattened and hardly protected by the calyx (with their cuneate bases.)

 

 

 

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