Also called Bird’s Eye, a genus of annual
perennial and shrubby species from Europe, America
and New Zealand.
Of the perennial types there are several attractive
Veronica longifolia (syn. Veronica maritima, Veronica excelsa) reaches
one and a half to two feet, with flowers lilac
in colour and borne in a dense raceme.
There is a white form and also var. hendersoniana,
a deep blue-flowered dwarf,
var. subsessilis, with large deep-blue flowers
and var. rosea, pink.
Veronica spicata reaches one to one and a half feet;
the flowers are small, mostly blue and borne in
lengthy dense racemes.
Of its forms the following are important:
var. corymbosa, pale blue on foot stems;
var. nana, rather shorter with blue flowers;
var. rosea, pink;
var. erica, somewhat like pink heather;
var. rubra, reddish-purple.
Veronica virginica reaches six feet with nine-inch
racemes of white or blue flowers;
there is also a white form. Veronica gentianoides (syn.
Veronica glabra) reaches eight to twelve inches, with
pale blue flowers.
Easily grown in any well-drained soil.
Propagate by division or from seed.
The flowering season is in spring and summer
Twelve inches to three feet.
Flowers blue, June to August.
Omitting the Alpine kinds and the shrubby New
Zealand species, the best Veronicas for the perennial
Austriaca: Long spikes of light blue flowers,
the plant about eighteen inches high.
Incana: Grey foliage, dark blue spikes.
Longifolia subsessilis: Stiff branching spikes
of deep blue.
Prostrata: Trailing, blue flowers; good for edgings.
Spicata: Tufted heads of light blue.
Most of the Veronicas have a ground-tuft from
which spring stiff stems set with narrow serrated
leaves topped with long plumes or spikes of flower.
They require good garden soil, and a sunny exposure,
and should be divided and replanted every third
or fourth year, changing the site or else digging
in plenty of new compost.
Veronica spicata may be raised from seed sown
in boxes in early summer, and treated as a hardy