Veronica officinalis

©The Creative  Minds

Weilheim-Schongau, Germany

Artist's Description

Veronica officinalis (Heath Speedwell, Common Speedwell, Common Gypsyweed, Paul’s Betony) is a species of Veronica, native to Europe and western Asia. It is a herbaceous perennial with hairy green stems 10–50 cm long that cover the ground in mats and send up short vertical shoots which bear soft violet flowers. The leaves are 1.5–5 cm long and 1–3 cm broad, and softly hairy. Extracts are widely sold as herbal remedies for sinus and ear infections. It has been introduced to North America and is widely naturalised there. The slightly bitter and astringent taste and tea-like smell of speedwell led to its use as a tea substitute in 19th-century France, where it was called the d’Europe, or “Europe tea.” The French still use this term as a name for speedwell.

Artwork Comments

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