Lamium amplexicaule or slender speedwell
Speedwell Lamium amplexicaule
 

Speedwell (Veronica spp)

Speedwell, Creeping Speedwell or Bird’s Eye is a perennial herb that prefers moist, well-drained and wet soils. It has slender rhizomes up to 60 cm long, and occurs in a range of environments including grassland, woodlands and forest. In dry periods it dies back but then reshoots once it rains.

After you finish reading this, you will be able to:

  • Identify Speedwell.
  • Know the habitat of Speedwell.
  • Know the best cultural and chemical options to Speedwell.

 

Speedwells

Speedwells are recognizable by their oval-shaped leaves, long flowering stems, and small flowers in a range of colours spread out over their stems.

Creeping Speedwell (Veronica persica) is a perennial weed that forms stolons. These allow thick mats of the weed to form in turf, and the small size of the weed allows it to easily escape being mown. It is tolerant of most turf herbicides, and more aggressive than turf speedwell, forming much denser mats. When it flowers it has bluish flowers on long stalks.

Thyme or Turf Speedwell (Veronica serpyllifolia) is a small perennial weed, that also has stolons but has a different leaf shape, and tends not to be hairy. Turf speedwell has whitish flowers with no stalks

Field, Corn or Wall Speedwell (Veronica arvensis) is a Winter annual, and germinates in the Autumn and flowers in the Spring. It has hairy leaves and grows small blue flowers that only open on bright days. It is found in Canberra & Southern Tablelands

Slender Speedwell (Veronica filiformis) is a creeping perennial weed with attractive blue flowers in the spring. The stems and undersides of the alternating leaves are hairy. The leaves begin as oval shaped but mature more roundish with rounded teeth on the edges.

For more information, please check out our weed ID chart. Speedwell is a good indicator weed of wet soils.

Speedwell Identification.

Category: broadleaf (Dicot).

Flower: It has four-lobed flowers, which are solitary and arise on long stalks from the leaf axils, are 8 to 10mm across; they are various shades of sky blue, pinkish blue or mauve.spring–summer.

Height:  The flowering stems are 3–25 cm tall, with fine spreading hairs to 0.5 mm long, mostly limited to lateral bands.

Leaf Length: Egg to heart shaped, 5-23 mm long by 5-20 mm wide, many regular lobes or rounded teeth, obtuse tip. Sparsely hairy.Leaves with lamina lanceolate to linear, mostly 1–3 cm long, 1.5–9 mm wide, apex attenuate, base tapering sharply, margins entire or with 1–4 pairs of spreading or recurved acute teeth; petiole 1–2 mm long.

Reproduction: Speedwell is a perennial, and reproduces by seed and by underground rhizomes. It is often a problem in turf during Spring and Summer.

Comments: 

Habitat: 

The image below is courtesy of Massey University.
 

 

 
 
 
 
Speedwells
 

 

 

How to remove Speedwell from your lawn.

Cultural and chemical control will remove Speedwell from your lawn and turfgrass.
 

Cultural control.

Dense, healthy lawns choke out speedwell. So cut at the right height for your turfgrass, irrigate appropriately and make sure that you fertilize properly. Don’t skip on N as this just favours this weed. You want the turf to outcompete this weed.

 

 

 

Chemical control.

Apply post-emergent herbicides in the Spring and Autumn when the plants are actively growing.

Don’t mow for two or three days before or after a herbicide application. The application should be done at a time when there is no rainfall forecast for at least 24 hours.

Corn Speedwell has been shown to be controlled with Drive XL and Tenacity but these are not registerd for this or available yet in Australia.