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I have been interested in nature for most of my life but since I retired I spend as much time as I can exploring the nature reserves and wildlife hotspots of my adopted home, Dorset in southern England. Whilst out I record what I see and take snaps where I can (I am no photographer!) and that forms the basis of my Nature of Dorset website. When I find something new I like to research it and write about it in my nature notes, it is how I learn and hopefully you might find my notes helpful as well!

This website is for the people of Dorset interested in wildlife and for people from elsewhere interested in the wildlife of Dorset!

16 November, 2016

Wall Speedwell: the healing speedwell

Now think very carefully before you answer ... where would you expect to find wall speedwell (Veronica arvensis) growing? It likes bare ground and so you can occasionally find it on walls but arvensis means 'of the field' and hard, bare ground in fields is a much more likely location for it. The scientific name is more accurate than the common English name which is not unusual!
It is a low growing, sprawling plant with small, dark blue flowers and is it is easily overlooked even though the flowers are present from March right through until October. I am pretty sure I have missed on more than one occasion.  Whist small the flowers are the classic 'bird's eye' shape but the plant itself is usually best identified by its leaves which, at first, seem more akin to germander speedwell rather than the other field speedwells.
Known also as the corn speedwell it has been also named the healing speedwell too and is supposedly an effective anti-inflammatory.
Wall Speedwell: the healing speedwell