Purslane Speedwell

Biological Name:

Veronica peregrina (Purslane-Speedwell)

Natural Habitat:

Purslane-Speedwell is a hybrid plant that is believed to have originated from the crossing of purslane and speedwell. It is a low-growing plant with small, round leaves and blue or purple flowers.


Purslane-speedwell is a low-growing annual or perennial weed with small oval leaves and blue or white flowers. The weed is often found in gardens and cultivated fields and can spread rapidly by seed.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Is purslane Speedwell edible?
A: Is Purslane Edible? The leaves, stems, flowers, and seeds of the purslane plant are all edible, but I’ve only eaten the stems and leaves myself. They have a slightly sour edge (not as strong as wood sorrel) and a hint of a mucilaginous quality (not as strong as mallows). Purslane is terrific as part of a salad.

Q: Is purslane toxic to humans?
A: The plant is nutritious and generally considered safe for human consumption. Due its content of oxalic acid, purslane should not be consumed by people with kidney disease or that have high uric acid (Gardner and McGuffin, 2012; Berdonces, 2009; Duke et al., 2009).

Q: Can I eat purslane from my yard?
A: Any purslane plant can be harvested and eaten, as the leaves, stems, and flowers are completely edible. When preparing wild purslane, it’s important to wash the plant carefully to ensure that no pesticides are on the leaves. Purslane is tart and a little salty, making it a great addition to salads and other dishes.

Q: What are the benefits of Speedwell?
A: An infusion of speedwell can be used as a wash for irritated or infected skin and as a gargle for mouth and throat soars. Recent studies have shown Speedwell tea may be an effective preventative treatment for stomach ulcers. Speedwell can also be used in herbal salves for chronic skin problems.

Q: Is purslane toxic to dogs?
A: Purslane contains soluble calcium oxalates. This property is what makes it toxic to your dog. Soluble oxalates are composed of potassium and sodium salts of oxalic acid. Once ingested, the oxalates are quickly absorbed by the gastrointestinal tract leading to symptoms of toxicity.

Q: Does purslane have side effects?
A: Purslane – Side Effects Surprisingly, current research shows that the only side effect of eating purslane is that it can lead to the risk of developing kidney stones. Purslane contains oxalate that can lead to the development of kidney stones.

Q: Is Field Speedwell edible?
A: American Speedwell is a tender salad green that can be eaten raw or cooked (though it is usually eaten raw). The older greens can become bitter, so this plant is best harvested and consumed earlier in the season. The flavor is reminiscent of watercress.

Q: What does speedwell taste like?
A: The leaves of common field speedwell, which when tasted raw can be quite bitter and astringent, when distilled in gin manufacture, their flavour profile changes, and this botanical adds liquorice and treacle-like notes to the spirit.

Q: Is Speedwell a mint?
A: Speedwell, Veronica agrestis, is not in the mint family at all, so the plant won’t have a strong aroma when mowed.

Q: What is speedwell good for?
A: Speedwell is commonly used to treat coughs and other respiratory diseases. It is also appropriate for inflammatory conditions such as arthritis and rheumatism, digestive problems like diarrhea, and a gargle to treat sore throat.

Q: What is another name for speedwell?
A: Veronica is the largest genus in the flowering plant family Plantaginaceae, with about 500 species. It was formerly classified in the family Scrophulariaceae. Common names include speedwell, bird’s eye, and gypsyweed.

Q: Why is speedwell so called?
A: Owing to the flower’s propensity to quickly wilt upon picking, ‘speed well’ may alternatively have been seen as a parallel to ‘farewell.

Q: Do speedwell plants spread?
A: Speedwell most commonly grows as an upright, spreading plant with small clusters of petals formed on tall spikes. These plants grow 1 to 3 feet tall and come in purple, blue, pink or white.

Q: Is speedwell poisonous to humans?
A: Is Veronica ‘Marietta’ poisonous? Veronica ‘Marietta’ has no toxic effects reported.

Q: Is corn speedwell invasive?
A: Often found in neglected lawns, disturbed soil, and shaded areas, corn or common speedwell (Veronica arvensis) is one to watch. It’s also known as gypsyweed or veronica. Generally, this invasive plant features four-petaled white, blue, or purplish small flowers; heart-shaped seed pods; and numerous small lobed leaves.

Q: Is speedwell a problem?
A: It is often a problem weed in lawns during spring and summer. Common speedwell (Figure 1) is distinguished by its very slender stems, small leaves and small bluish-white flowers. The stems are almost horizontal, much branched, hairy and root at the nodes (a). The leaves are small (1.0 to 2.4 in.

Q: Do hummingbirds like speedwell?
A: Veronica | Speedwell Veronica (Speedwell) comes in a wide variety of heights for you to choose from—but they are all easy and undemanding to grow. These perennials prefer full sun and average, well–drained soil. Veronica plants are deer resistant, drought tolerant and attract hummingbirds and butterflies.

Q: What is the difference between Veronica and speedwell?
A: Veronica, also called Speedwell, is a carefree and easy-to-grow perennial with long spikes of small petals in purple, blue, pink, or white. Here’s how to grow veronica in your garden! This attractive plant grows in clusters from 1 to 3 feet tall, and blooms from spring to autumn.

Q: Should speedwell be cut back?
A: Speedwell (Veronica spicata) As blooms fade in fall, this perennial can be cut back to the ground. If left until spring, the black foliage will uglify your gardens. Speedwell grows best in USDA zones 3 through 8.

Q: Is speedwell a good ground cover?
A: This is a vigorous, fast-growing species that thrive in difficult climates. The ground-hugging stems of round, glossy evergreen leaves, root as they creep across the garden, creating a thick green carpet. Veronica liwanensis (Turkish Speedwell) can be used like thyme to create a ground cover “lawn””.”

Q: How do I get rid of speedwell in my yard?
A: Prevalence of corn speedwell can be reduced by increasing turf density through nitrogen fertilization, regular mowing, and the use of turfgrasses well-adapted to site conditions. This weed can be suppressed or controlled with various preemergence and postemergence herbicides.

About the author

Samuel is a gardening professional and enthusiast who has spent over 20 years advising homeowners and farm owners on weed identification, prevention and removal. He has an undergraduate degree in plant and soil science from Michigan State University.