Veronica arvensis

Corn Speedwell, common speedwell, rock speedwell, wall speedwell

Description: winter annual

Place of origin: Europe

Urban habitat: commonly found in compacted soil in lawns and around the base of buildings and in pavement openings; can tolerate a wide range of soil conditions but thrives in dry, sandy or gravelly soil in full sun.

Ecological function: disturbance-adapted colonizer of bare ground.

History: Although native in Europe, Veronica arvensis has become naturalized across many continents including North America, Africa, and Asia. The plant was named after St. Veronica, the woman who gave Jesus a cloth to wipe his face on the way to Calvary, because the markings on her handkerchief were said to resemble the plant. Corn Speedwell has a history of medicinal uses in Europe used as an astringent, diruetic, blood purifier, to treat coughs, burns, skin ulcers, and due to its high vitamin C content, used as a scurvy preventative.