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Veronica officinalis

Veronica officinalis

Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Lamiales
Family: Plantaginaceae
Genus: Veronica
Species: V. officinalis
Binomial name
Veronica officinalis

Veronica officinalis (Heath Speedwell, Common Speedwell, Common gypsyweed, Paul's betony) is a species of Veronica, native to Europe and western Asia. Other common names include common speedwell and common gypsyweed.

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.

Cultivation and uses

This speedwell grows in fields and takes hold in areas that have been disturbed. It is a potential weed if its seed gets into collections of agricultural seed, such as alfalfa. Historically the green parts of the plant have been used medicinally for coughs, otitis media, and gastrointestinal distress. The plant is rich in vitamins, tannins, and the glycoside aucuboside. Aucuboside, which is also found in many other Plantaginaceae species, is thought to have antiinflammatory properties. Extracts are widely sold as herbal remedies for sinus and ear infections. It has been introduced to North America and is widely naturalised there.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Veronica_officinalis". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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