The marsh speedwell (Veronica scutellata) and other members of the genus gain their common name from their regular occurrence on the side of roads, as they are thought to speed people up on their journey. In Ireland it was believed to be good luck for travellers to sew Veronica plants into their clothes (4).
The marsh speedwell is a perennial herb (3) (5) (6). It has purple-green or reddish, smooth-edged, lance-shaped leaves (3), which are oppositely arranged along the stout, hairless stems (2). The flowers have four blue, white or purplish petals, of which the upper petal is the largest. The flowers are marked with purple veins (3) and have two stamens in the centre. The numerous seeds are encased within heart-shaped capsules, which are positioned on slender, wide-spreading stalks (2).
- Height: 20 - 100 cm (2)
- Flower width: up to 1 cm (3)
- Leaf length: 2 - 7 cm (2)