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Wood Speedwell: the mountain speedwell

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Wood Speedwell: the mountain speedwell

Whilst retaining the well recognised flower shape of the speedwell family wood speedwell (Veronica montana) is a pale lilac colour although my camera shot perhaps does not actually show this very well. It is a sprawling, rather hairy plant, found in damp woodlands, often where the soil is mainly clay. Few other members of the speedwell family are found in these conditions although the well known, and close relative of the wood speedwell, germander speedwell can be found in woods but the flowers are a much deeper blue so there should not be confusion.

The Latin name 'montana' not surprisingly means 'of the mountains' so it seems an unusual choice for a name for a plant found in lowland woodlands. One might have expected the wood speedwell to be called Veronica sylvestris - sylvestris meaning 'of the woods' but that has already been used for another species not found in the United Kingdom! It is, however, found across much of Britain including the mountainous areas farther north than Dorset! Down here in Dorset it is common in pretty well all our damp woodlands.


 

 

If you would like to see the complete series that this post is part of click here ---->
This nature note was written by ----> Peter Orchard
This nature nore was written ----> 2 years 6 months ago

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