Veronica spuria L.

Fully hardy, erect perennial with lance-shaped, opposite leaves in whorls of 3-4, and lax terminal panicles of blue flowers in early summer.  To 90cm.  [RHSD, Hortus].

Horticultural & Botanical History

There is a continuum of very similar species of Veronica from southern Europe to north Asia and China to Japan.  The plant used here to illustrate Macarthur’s ‘Veronica amethystina’ is the plant figured in Curtis’s Botanical Magazine as Veronica longifolia var. subsellisis.

Veronica angustifolia Fisch.  A comparison with Peking specimens of this gathered by Dr. Williams, and Nagasaki ones from Oldham, distributed from Kew under n.643, proves my V. galactites (Ann. Sc. Nat. 5 ser. v. 232) to be in no respect distinct.  The extension of this plant into the extreme south-east of China is somewhat remarkable.  The numerous forms referred to V. paniculata, L., require to be examined afresh.’  [Journal of the Linnaean Society vol.13, p.84/1873].

‘This brilliant Speedwell [Veronica longifolia var. subsellisis] hardly differs, even as a variety, from the European V. longifolia, which ranges from Lapland, Denmark, and Lombardy, in the west, through middle Europe and N. Asia to China, and thence to the Island of Saghalien and Japan.  The specimens from the latter country have been distinguished as a variety by Miquel, on account of their broader leaves, very short petioles, and sparce pubesbescence, but I find as broad and as shortly petioled specimens in Europe; and the leaves of some Japanese ones are narrow-lanceolate.  It is further very near the common continental V. spicata, L., and the S. Europe and N. Asiatic V. paniculata, L.; and, as Bentham remarks, is connected with these by intermediate states or garden hybrids; so that it is difficult to assign the limits of the species in the wide-spread and beautiful Pseudolysimachia section of the genus to which they all belong.’  [BM t.6407/1879]

According to Don Veronica spuria was introduced to Britain in 1731 but it was grown by John Gerard as Veronica recta Pannonica, the Upright Fluellin, in 1596.

History at Camden Park

Only listed in the 1857 catalogue [T.981/1857].


Published Feb 18, 2010 - 12:40 PM | Last updated Feb 18, 2010 - 12:47 PM

Figured are ovate-lanceolate toothed leaves and spike of amethyst blue flowers.  Curtis's Botanical Magazine t.6407, 1879.

Veronica longifolia var. subsellisis | BM t.6407/1879 | BHL.  This plant is similar to improved garden varieties of Veronica spicata.

More details about Veronica spuria L.
Family Scrophulariaceae
Region of origin

Europe to Asia

  • Veronica amethystina Willd.
  • Veronica paniculata L.
  • Veronica angustifolia Fisch.
  • Veronica galactites Hance
Common Name

Bastard speedwell

Name in the Camden Park Record

Bastard speedwell

Confidence level high