Veronica chamaedrys

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Veronica chamaedrys
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Asterids
Order: Lamiales
Family: Plantaginaceae
Genus: Veronica
V. chamaedrys
Binomial name
Veronica chamaedrys

Veronica chamaedrys, the germander speedwell, bird's-eye speedwell, or cat's eyes,[1][2] is a herbaceous perennial species of flowering plant in the plantain family Plantaginaceae.


Veronica chamaedrys can grow to 50 cm (20 in) tall, but is frequently shorter, with stems that are hairy only along two opposite sides. The leaves are in opposite pairs, triangular and crenate, sessile or with short petioles. The flowers are deep blue with a zygomorphic (bilaterally symmetrical) four-lobed corolla, 8–12 mm (0.3–0.5 in) wide. The capsules are wider than they are long.[3]: 591 

The blossoms of this plant wilt very quickly upon picking, which has given it the ironic name "Männertreu", or "men's faithfulness" in German.[4]

Veronica chamaedrys is a common, hardy turf so-called weed when it invades turf and lawns. It creeps along the ground, spreading by sending down roots at the stem nodes. It is propagated both by seed and stem fragments. Leaves may defoliate in the summer and winter but the stems will grow again next season. Unlike at least five other common speedwell species, such as corn speedwell (Veronica arvensis),[5] the leaves are opposite on both the upper and lower parts of the plant.[6][7] See Veronica for special weed control considerations.

The specific name chamaedrys is a combining form meaning "low" or "on the ground" derived from ancient Greek.[8]


This species is native to Europe.[9] It is found on other continents as an introduced species.


Veronica chamaedrys has been used in traditional Austrian herbal medicine internally (as tea) for disorders of the nervous system, respiratory tract, cardiovascular system, and metabolism.[10] In 18th century Britain, the plant had the reputation of being a cure for gout as well as being popular for making tea, the latter being so prevalent that the plant was nearly eradicated from London during the 18th century.[11]


  1. ^ "Veronica chamaedrys". Retrieved 2017-12-30.
  2. ^ "Notes. Keats, John. 1884. Poetical Works". Retrieved 2017-12-30.
  3. ^ Stace, C. A. (2010). New Flora of the British Isles (Third ed.). Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press. p. 450. ISBN 9780521707725.
  4. ^ Friedhelm Sauerhoff, Pflanzennamen im Vergleich: Benennungstheorie und Etymologie [Plant names compared: theory of naming and etymology] (Stuttgart, Germany: Franz Steiner, 2001), page 206: Das bestätigt auch E. Mießner, wenn er zum Gamander-Ehrenpreis feststellt: "Da die Blüten leicht abfallen, auch deutscher Spottname 'Männertreu'..." (E. Mießner also confirms that, when he observes about Veronica chamaedrys: "Since the blossoms easily fall off, [it is] also [known by] the derisive German nickname, 'men's faithfulness'...")
  5. ^ other Turf Weeds at Virginia Tech: corn speedwell, Veronica arvensis
  6. ^ Turf Weeds at Virginia Tech; germander speedwell, Veronica chamaedrys:
  7. ^ Weed ID & info; Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, Michigan State University and Ronald Calhoun:
  8. ^ Klein, Ernest (1966). A Comprehensive Etymological Dictionary of the English Language. New York: Elsevier. p. 265.
  9. ^ "Den virtuella floran – stängd för ombyggnad".
  10. ^ Vogl, Sylvia; Picker, Paolo; Mihaly-Bison, Judit; Fakhrudin, Nanang; Atanasov, Atanas G.; Heiss, Elke H.; Wawrosch, Christoph; Reznicek, Gottfried; Dirsch, Verena M.; Saukel, Johannes; Kopp, Brigitte (2013). "Ethnopharmacological in vitro studies on Austria's folk medicine—An unexplored lore in vitro anti-inflammatory activities of 71 Austrian traditional herbal drugs". Journal of Ethnopharmacology. 149 (3): 750–71. doi:10.1016/j.jep.2013.06.007. PMC 3791396. PMID 23770053.
  11. ^ Mabey, Richard (1996). Flora Britannica: supported by common ground. Bob Gibbons and Gareth Lovett Jones (photographers). Chatto & Windus. ISBN 978-1856193771. OCLC 805221553.

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