What Is The Difference Between Speedwell And Veronica?

Have you ever stopped to admire the delicate beauty of Speedwell and Veronica? These two flowering plants may look similar at first glance, but upon closer inspection, you’ll notice some striking differences.

Believe it or not, both Speedwell and Veronica belong to the same botanical family, Plantaginaceae. However, their origins couldn’t be more different. While Speedwell is native to Europe and Asia, Veronica can be found in North America, Europe, and even Australia.

But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Let’s dive deeper into their characteristics. Did you know that Speedwell typically blooms earlier in the season than Veronica? Or that Veronica can grow much taller than its counterpart?

Additionally, their leaf shapes vary significantly. Speedwell has narrow leaves with serrated edges while Veronica boasts wider leaves with smoother edges.

For avid gardeners or those simply interested in nature’s diversity, understanding these differences is crucial for selecting the right plant for your needs.

So come along on this journey as we explore the nuances between Speedwell and Veronica. Together, we’ll appreciate the unique qualities of each plant and gain a deeper appreciation for the wonders of nature.

Height Comparison

When it comes to landscaping, you must choose the right plants for the job, and height is a crucial consideration. Two plants that are often mistaken for each other are Speedwell and Veronica. However, they differ in height, leaf shape, flower size, and growing requirements. In this post, we’ll explore the height differences between these two plants and how it impacts their use in landscaping.

Speedwell vs. Veronica: Height Differences

The most noticeable difference between Speedwell and Veronica plants is their height. Speedwell plants are relatively low-growing, ranging from 6-12 inches tall with some varieties reaching up to 18 inches. In contrast, Veronica plants have tall and slender stems that can grow up to 2-3 feet in height.

This height difference has a significant impact on the overall appearance of these plants and how they are used in landscaping. Speedwell is ideal as a ground cover or border plant due to its low height, while Veronica is perfect as a vertical accent in garden beds or containers.

Leaf Shape and Flower Size

In addition to the height difference, Speedwell and Veronica also have distinct differences in leaf shape and flower size. For instance, Speedwell has small oval-shaped leaves arranged oppositely on the stem. In contrast, Veronica has lance-shaped leaves that grow in an alternate pattern on the stem.

When it comes to flowers, Speedwell produces small blue or purple flowers clustered along the stem. On the other hand, Veronica’s flowers are larger and grow at the top of the stems in a spike-like shape. Moreover, Veronica’s flowers come in various colors ranging from blue to pink to white.

Growing Requirements

Another essential factor to consider when choosing between Speedwell and Veronica is their growing requirements. Speedwell prefers moist soils and partial shade, while Veronica needs well-drained soils and full sun.

Both plants require regular watering and fertilization. However, the taller stature of Veronica makes it more susceptible to wind damage, requiring staking or support in windy areas.

Leaf Shape Comparison

Fear not, for I am here to enlighten you on one of the easiest ways to distinguish between the two: their leaf shape and color.

Let’s start with Speedwell. These plants boast long, lance-shaped leaves with smooth edges that come in pairs along the stem. Their leaves range from 1-4 inches long and are typically a deep green color. So, if you spot a plant with long, pointed leaves that have a rich green hue, you’re likely looking at a Speedwell.

Now, let’s turn our attention to Veronica plants. Their oval-shaped leaves have serrated edges and also come in pairs along the stem. However, they tend to be slightly smaller than those of Speedwell plants. The color of Veronica leaves can vary from a lighter green to a grayish-green hue, so keep an eye out for these subtle differences.

It’s important to note that there are many different species of both Speedwell and Veronica plants, so leaf appearance may vary depending on the specific variety. Nonetheless, understanding these variations in leaf shape and color can help you distinguish between these two popular garden plants.

If you’re still feeling unsure, here are some additional tips:

  • Speedwell leaves are longer and thinner than Veronica leaves.
  • What Is The Difference Between Speedwell And Veronica-2

  • Veronica leaves are more rounded than Speedwell leaves.
  • Veronica leaves also tend to be more textured due to their serrated edges.

By using these tips and observing the unique characteristics of each plant, you’ll become an expert at distinguishing between the two in no time.

Flower Size and Arrangement Comparison

If you’re looking for small, delicate flowers that pack a punch, then Speedwell is the perfect choice for you. These beauties have a petite size of about 1/2 inch in diameter, but don’t let their size fool you. Their dense spikes can reach up to 18 inches tall and are sure to make a statement in any garden. The four-petaled flowers have a distinct tubular shape that gives them their characteristic look.

On the other hand, if you’re looking for flowers that are slightly larger and arranged in a unique way, then Veronica is your go-to. While they also belong to the same family as Speedwell (Plantaginaceae), Veronica flowers measure around 1 inch in diameter. What sets them apart is their long, thin spikes that can grow up to 3 feet tall. The individual flowers have four petals arranged in an open, saucer-like shape that gives them an elegant and refined appearance.

Both Speedwell and Veronica offer a stunning range of colors to choose from. Speedwell flowers come in shades of blue, purple, pink, and white, while Veronica flowers can be blue, purple, pink, white or even red. No matter which one you choose, either plant will add beauty and charm to any garden or landscape.

Growing Requirements Comparison

The choice between Speedwell and Veronica can be a tough one, but let’s compare their growing requirements to help make your decision easier.

The hardy Speedwell is an easy-to-care-for plant that can survive in various soil conditions, including acidic, alkaline, loamy, sandy, and clay soils. It’s also drought-tolerant and prefers full sun to partial shade. For those living in hot and dry climates, Speedwell is the perfect choice.

Veronica, on the other hand, prefers well-draining soil with a neutral to slightly acidic pH level. It needs regular watering and cannot tolerate drought conditions. Veronica also prefers full sun but can tolerate some shade. If you live in an area with more moderate temperatures and regular rainfall, Veronica might be the better option for you.

Speedwell is more tolerant of colder climates than Veronica. It can survive in USDA hardiness zones 4-9, while Veronica thrives in zones 4-If you live in a colder climate, it may be easier to grow Speedwell than Veronica.

Another difference between the two plants is their growth habit. Speedwell tends to spread out and stay low to the ground, making it an excellent ground cover plant. On the other hand, Veronica grows upright and can reach up to 2-3 feet tall. This makes it a great choice for adding height to your garden or for use as a border plant.

Both plants are relatively low maintenance and don’t require frequent fertilization or pruning. However, Veronica may need staking as it grows taller to prevent it from falling over.

Similarities between Speedwell and Veronica

You may be surprised to learn that these two plants actually have a lot in common.

Firstly, both Speedwell and Veronica belong to the same plant family, Plantaginaceae. This shared trait means that they have similar characteristics, such as the shape of their flowers and their growth habits. Speaking of flowers, both plants have small and delicate blooms that come in shades of blue, pink, white, or purple. Their foliage also looks alike, with oval-shaped leaves that are toothed around the edges.

Beyond their physical appearance, both plants are well-known for their medicinal properties. For centuries, Speedwell has been used to treat respiratory issues like coughs and bronchitis. Meanwhile, Veronica has been used to alleviate wounds and digestive problems. These natural remedies highlight how nature provides us with solutions for our health concerns.

Another similarity between these two plants is their preference for similar growing conditions. Both thrive in well-drained soil and can handle full sun or partial shade. So regardless of whether you have a sunny or shady spot in your garden, either plant will add beauty to your landscape.

However, it’s also important to note some differences between Speedwell and Veronica. For example, they have different blooming periods and foliage textures. Nevertheless, these differences do not detract from the many similarities that make them both great choices for your garden.

How to Distinguish between Speedwell and Veronica

Don’t fret

even the most experienced botanists can struggle to distinguish between these two plants. However, there are several key characteristics to look out for that can help you tell them apart.

Firstly, examine the stem of each plant. Speedwell has a square-shaped stem with leaves that grow opposite each other, while Veronica has a round stem with leaves that grow alternately. This distinctive difference in stem structure is an easy way to identify which plant is which.

Next, take a closer look at their flowers. Speedwell flowers are arranged in dense spikes that bloom from the bottom up, while Veronica flowers are arranged in spikes that bloom from the top down. Additionally, Speedwell flowers come in a variety of colors such as blue, purple, pink or white, whereas Veronica flowers are mainly blue with some pink or purple hues.

Another way to distinguish between the two plants is by their growing habits. Speedwell thrives in moist soils and partial shade, making it commonly found in damp meadows or along riverbanks. In contrast, Veronica prefers well-drained soils and full sun and can often be found growing in rock gardens or along roadsides.

It’s worth noting that there are many different species within each of these plant groups, and some may have slightly different characteristics. For instance, Germander Speedwell has small blue or white flowers and hairy leaves, while Bird’s Eye Speedwell has bright blue flowers with a white center. However, by focusing on these key characteristics of stem structure, flower arrangement and color, and growing habits, you can become proficient at distinguishing between Speedwell and Veronica in no time.

Caring for Speedwell and Veronica

These low-maintenance perennials are a joy to have in any garden or landscape. But, like any living thing, they require some care to thrive. Here are some tips to ensure your Speedwell and Veronica plants grow healthy and beautiful.

Soil and sunlight are crucial factors in the success of these plants. They prefer well-draining soil and full sun to partial shade. While they can tolerate different soil types, they thrive in moist and fertile soil. When planting, choose an area that receives plenty of sunlight and has soil that drains well.

Watering is essential during the growing season, especially during hot and dry spells. Keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged to promote healthy growth.

Deadheading is necessary for continuous blooming throughout the season. Removing spent blooms from the plant stimulates the production of new flowers. Deadhead regularly to prevent the plant from going to seed, which can limit its blooming potential.

Fertilization is optional but can be beneficial for growth and overall health. Apply a balanced fertilizer in early spring or late fall.

Pruning is crucial for maintaining the shape and size of your plants. Prune them in late summer or early fall after they’ve finished blooming to prevent them from becoming too leggy or overgrown. Trim back any dead or damaged foliage, and cut back any overgrown stems to maintain a tidy appearance.

Common Uses of Speedwell and Veronica

If yes, then you should consider the natural medicinal properties of Speedwell and Veronica. These plants have been used for hundreds of years in traditional medicine and are known for their multitude of health benefits.

Let’s begin with Speedwell. This plant is a potent remedy for respiratory problems. It can help with coughing, congestion, and sore throat, making it an excellent natural alternative to over-the-counter cough syrups. Additionally, Speedwell has anti-inflammatory properties, which make it an effective treatment for skin conditions such as eczema, acne, and psoriasis. Whether you have respiratory issues or skin problems, Speedwell is a versatile herb that can provide relief.

Veronica is another plant worth exploring for its medicinal properties. It is a natural diuretic, meaning it can help flush out excess fluids from the body and reduce swelling caused by edema and high blood pressure. Furthermore, Veronica can stimulate the production of digestive juices and improve digestion. Its bitter compounds can help relieve indigestion and other digestive discomforts.

While Speedwell and Veronica have a long history of use in traditional medicine, it’s still important to use them with caution. Be sure to consult with a healthcare professional before using these plants for medicinal purposes. Additionally, start with small doses if you’re new to herbal remedies and monitor yourself for any side effects or reactions.


In conclusion, it’s important to note that despite their similar appearances, Speedwell and Veronica have distinct differences that make them stand out from one another. From the origins of their names to their unique growing requirements, understanding these nuances is crucial for selecting the right plant for your needs.

When looking at these plants side by side, key characteristics such as stem structure, flower arrangement and color, and growing habits can help you distinguish them. Both plants are relatively low maintenance but require some care to thrive. Soil quality and sunlight exposure are crucial factors in their success, while watering, deadheading, fertilization, and pruning can all play a role in maintaining their health and beauty.

It’s worth noting that both Speedwell and Veronica offer a stunning range of colors and are well-known for their medicinal properties. Appreciating the unique qualities of each plant can deepen your appreciation for the wonders of nature and enhance the natural beauty of your surroundings.

Ultimately, whether you choose Speedwell or Veronica for your garden or landscape depends on your specific needs and preferences.