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Veronica spp. Wooly Speedwell, Speedwell

Edward F. Gilman, Ryan W. Klein, and Gail Hansen


Veronicas grow from 2 to 18 inches tall, in full sun or light shade in any good garden soil. The plant is susceptible to drought and some types of veronica are serious lawn weeds.

Full Form - Veronica spp.: Wooly speedwell, speedwell.
Figure 1. Full Form - Veronica spp.: Wooly speedwell, speedwell.
Credit: Edward F. Gilman, UF/IFAS


Full Form - Veronica spp.: Wooly speedwell, speedwell.
Figure 2. Leaf - Veronica spp.: Wooly speedwell, speedwell.
Credit: Edward F. Gilman, UF/IFAS

General Information

Scientific name: Veronica spp.

Pronunciation: ver-RAWN-nick-kuh species

Common name(s): wooly speedwell, speedwell

Family: Scrophulariaceae

Plant type: annual; perennial; herbaceous

USDA hardiness zones: 4 through 9A (Figure 3)

Planting month for zone 7: Jun; Jul

Planting month for zone 8: May; Jun

Planting month for zone 9: Mar; Apr

Planting month for zone 10 and 11: not recommended

Origin: not native to North America

Invasive potential: not known to be invasive

Uses: cut flowers; border; mass planting; ground cover; edging

Availability: somewhat available, may have to go out of the region to find the plant

Shaded area represents potential planting range.
Figure 3. Shaded area represents potential planting range.


Height: 1 to 2 feet

Spread: 0.5 to 1.5 feet

Plant habit: upright

Plant density: moderate

Growth rate: moderate

Texture: medium


Leaf arrangement: opposite/subopposite

Leaf type: simple

Leaf margin: dentate; serrate

Leaf shape: obovate; oblong; ovate

Leaf venation: pinnate

Leaf type and persistence: semi-evergreen

Leaf blade length: 2 to 4 inches

Leaf color: green

Fall color: no fall color change

Fall characteristic: not applicable


Flower color: purple; blue; lavender

Flower characteristic: spring flowering; summer flowering; fall flowering


Fruit shape: unknown

Fruit length: unknown

Fruit cover: unknown

Fruit color: unknown

Fruit characteristic: inconspicuous and not showy

Trunk and Branches

Trunk/bark/branches: typically, multi-trunked or clumping stems

Current year stem/twig color: green

Current year stem/twig thickness: medium


Light requirement: plant grows in part shade/part sun

Soil tolerances: acidic; loam; clay; sand

Drought tolerance: moderate

Soil salt tolerances: unknown

Plant spacing: 12 to 18 inches


Roots: not applicable

Winter interest: no special winter interest

Outstanding plant: not particularly outstanding

Pest resistance: no serious pests are normally seen on the plant

Use and Management

Division may be done in autumn or spring. Seeds germinate in 15 to 20 days at 70°F. Softwood cuttings may be taken in spring. Seed can be planted outdoors within two months of frost.

Pests and Diseases

Downy mildew causes pale spots on the upper sides of leaves. Corresponding regions on the undersides of the leaves are covered with grayish mildew.

Leaf spot causes numerous small circular spots that vary in color from violet to brown. The spots are found on the upper leaf surface. On the undersides, the spots are yellowish brown. As the spots run together, the leaves look scorched, ragged, and shotholed. The last stage of the disease is defoliation. Destroy all fallen and spotted leaves. The disease is caused by Septoria veronicae.

Powdery mildew causes a white, powdery growth on the leaves.

Publication #FPS-601

Release Date:February 12, 2024

Related Collections

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About this Publication

This document is FPS-601, one of a series of the Department of Environmental Horticulture, UF/IFAS Extension. Original publication date October 1999. Revised October 2023. Visit the EDIS website at for the currently supported version of this publication.

About the Authors

Edward F. Gilman, professor emeritus; Ryan W. Klein, assistant professor, arboriculture; and Gail Hansen, professor, sustainable landscape design; Department of Environmental Horticulture, UF/IFAS Extension, Gainesville, FL 32611.


  • Gail Hansen de Chapman
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