Veronica gentianoides has delicate spikes of pale china blue, prettily veined flowers, borne above clumps of glossy evergreen leaves that provide good ground cover. The flower spikes have a charming grace and are one of the earliest of the summer flowers. Early summer. 45cm. Any good soil
Speedwells – Veronica
Veronicas are the speedwell’s or Bird’s-Eyes. The name speedwell means ‘good-bye’ and refers to the speed with which the petals fall when you pick the flower.
On the whole Veronicas are native to moisture retentive sites, growing in wet ditches, and flood meadows through to light woodland. They tend to prefer cool summers.
The species usually encountered for the herbaceous border are of fairly easy cultivation provided that over dry conditions are avoided. The taller species produce long lasting pink, lavender or blue spikes for the border which are great for the eye and the insects. Alternatively, species such a V. gentianoides make attractive leaf cover for the edge of a bed with a bonus of palest blue flower spikes in spring
Veronica is possibly named in honour of St Veronica, the woman of Jerusalem who wiped the face of Christ with a veil while he was on the way to Calvary. According to tradition, the cloth became imprinted with the image of Christ’s face. Feast day July 12th.