The intense blue flowers of the large speedwell are not only very attractive to us, also numerous insects are crazy for them.
Profile of large speedwell:
Scientific name: Veronica teucrium
Plant family: plantain family (Plantaginaceae)
Other names: symphytumoot
Sowing time: April to May
Planting time: late spring
Flowering period: May to July
Soil quality: stony, sandy to loamy, calcipholous, nutrient-poor to moderately nutrient-rich, humus rich
These information are for temperate climate!
Use in: flower beds, group planting, overgrowing, borders, flower garden, natural garden, rock garden
Winter hardiness: hardy, USDA Plant Hardiness Zones: 4 (-32 °C / -25 °F)
Bee and insect friendly: Yes
Plant characteristics and classification of large speedwell
Plant order, origin and occurrence of large speedwell
Even if its name suggests otherwise: The large speedwell (Veronica teucrium) belongs to the lower species of the genus veronica within the plantain family (Plantaginaceae). Its blue flowers look really big. The wild species grows on deep dry meadows and on warm forest edges in Europe, western and eastern Siberia and Mongolia. The plant also appears in literature as Veronica austriaca subsp. teucrium.
Characteristics of large speedwell
With a stature height between 20 and 60 centimeters (8 and 24 in), the clump-forming perennial remains comparatively small. Upright, frizzy hairy stems form from a rhizome.
Oblong ovoid to heart-shaped, roughly toothed and hairy appear the leaves of Veronica teucrium, which are usually located directly on the stems.
From May and July the intensely blue colored flowers in the leaf axils unfold in long-stalked, multi-flowered clusters. Many insects such as butterflies, bees and bumblebees find plenty of food on the lush inflorescences.
Capsule fruits ripen in September and October, the seeds of which are spread by the wind or by animals such as ants.
Large speedwell – cultivation and care
A sunny spot in the garden is ideal for the large speedwell.
The soil should be well-drained, dry to fresh and preferably rich in lime. Large speedwell also copes well with stony and sandy subsoil. The plant tends to like it humic, but rather poor in nutrients.
Planting large speedwell
The best time to plant the large speedwell is in late spring. Keep a distance of around 30 centimeters (12 in) to neighboring plants.
Water the perennial so that it never dries out.
In nutrient-rich soil, large speedwell grows best. If the soil does not meet the ideal conditions, the perennial will gladly accept an organic start-up fertilization at the beginning of the flowering period. Compost, leaf mold, guano, bark humus, horn shavings or plant swill are suitable.
Pruning after flowering encourages new growth of Veronica teucrium. This can also prevent self-sowing.
The large speedwell is best propagated by division, the wild species can also be propagated by sowing. Sowing takes place from April to May in the bed.
Diseases and pests
All speedwell species are quite robust and not very susceptible to plant diseases or pests. Occasionally powdery mildew or leaf spot diseases occur. If there is waterlogging, root rot can occur.
Large speedwell is hardy down to -32 °C / -25 °F. No special measures for winter are necessary.
Use in the garden
The large speedwell and its varieties are blue flower treasures in borders and perennial beds. Their color effect comes into its own particularly well in the rock garden, but they are also great for natural gardens. Sweet alison or rockcress, for example, are ideal partners for the bee-friendly plants. California poppy (Eschscholzia californica) and other orange or yellow blooming flowers give a nice contrast.