Veronica anagallis-aquatica hybridises in the wild with Veronica catenata Penell. The resulting hybrid, Veronica x ackschewitzii appears to have replaced Veronica anagallis-aquatica in many rivers in southern Britain. It is not clear how widespread Veronica x lackschewitzii is nor whether it may either pose a threat to Veronica anagallis-aquatica or compromise the red list assessment for either parent, however in the UK it is difficult to distinguish records of the three taxa[
Veronica anagallidiformis Boreau
Veronica anagallis latifolia Britton
Veronica breviramosa Papch.
Veronica brittonii Porter ex Pennell
Veronica divaricatoramosa Papch.
Veronica lepida Phil.
Veronica lysimachioides Boiss.
Veronica pseudoanagalloides Papch.
Veronica pseudocatenata Papch.
Veronica pseudoscardica Papch.
Veronica scardicoides Papch.
Common Name: Water Speedwell
Veronica anagallis-aquatica is occasionally annual, but more commonly a herbaceous perennial with more or less succulent stems that can be erect or decumbent, branched or unbranched; it can grow from 10 - 100cm tall[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine and a food. It is occasionally cultivated as a spring vegetable in Japan[
The plant is classified as 'Least Concern' in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species(2013)[
The plant has become widely naturalized as a weed in temperate regions.
Eurasia - Norway to Portugal, east to eastern Siberia, Mongolia, China, Korea, northern India, the Levant.
Marshes, ditches, wet meadows, ponds and streams, avoiding acid conditions[
]. Along banks of rivers and ponds, in moist places, damp meadows, in mountains up to the subalpine zone[
|Conservation Status||Least Concern
|Cultivation Status||Cultivated, Wild
Easily grown in a moderately fertile wet soil or in shallow water[
]. Prefers cool summers[
Young leaves - raw or cooked[
]. Rich in vitamin C[
]. A cress-like taste[
]. A subtle flavour[
], the leaves can be added to salads or used as a potherb[
]. When used in salads they go better with a lemon dressing than vinegar[
]. The leaves are often available in winter.
The root and the leaves are alterative, appetizer and diuretic[
]. A decoction promotes menstruation[
]. The leaves are used in the treatment of scurvy, impurity of the blood etc[
The plant is bruised and applied externally as a poultice on burns, ulcers, whitlows, etc[
The fruits become abnormally swollen when parasitized by insects - these galls are called 'xian tao cao' in China and and are used medicinally[
Seed - sow autumn in a cold frame[
]. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer.
If you have sufficient seed it can be grown in situ in the autumn or spring.
Division in autumn or spring[
]. Very easy, larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found that it is best to pot up smaller divisions and grow them on in light shade in a greenhouse or cold frame until they are growing away well. Plant them out in the summer or the following spring.
Cuttings of young shoots root easily in the growing season, merely put them in water.