Plant of the Week, 10 May 2020: Wall Speedwell, Veronica arvensis

Veronica arvensis is a very common native plant, often overlooked, and frequently found in the crack between pavement and wall. Its tiny blue flowers, appearing in April, are in terminal racemes. The leaves and stems are quite glandular-hairy, and normally by May they are covered with dust and debris from traffic on the roads and pavements. This year, however, there is much less traffic and the air is relatively clean. Consequently the plant is looking at its very best and flowering nicely. Note too how the whole structure accumulates debris and thus contributes to a prototype soil that forms in this urban habitat. It is generally considered a weed, as suggested by its North American name, Corn Speedwell.

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