Veronica gentianoides 'Variegata'
Common Name: Gentian speedwell
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Plantaginaceae
Zone: 4 to 8
Height: 1.00 to 1.50 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 1.50 feet
Bloom Time: May to June
Bloom Description: White tinged with blue
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Ground Cover, Naturalize
Flower: Showy
Leaf: Colorful
Tolerate: Rabbit, Deer

Culture

Easily grown in average, medium, well-drained soil in full sun. Tolerates light shade. Intolerant of drought. Best in consistently moist, humusy soils that do not dry out. Foliage is evergreen in the deep South, but dies back in the St. Louis area. Deadhead spent flower spikes to encourage additional bloom.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Veronica gentianoides, commonly called gentian speedwell, is a mat-forming perennial which typically forms basal foliage clumps (rosettes) of broad, oblong-lanceolate, glossy dark green, basal leaves (to 3" long). Foliage clumps slowly spread in the garden over time by creeping roots to form dense mats. Flowering stems rise from the rosettes to 20" tall and are topped with 8-10" long, loose, terminal racemes of blue flowers (1/2 to 3/4" wide) in late spring to early summer.

Genus name honors Saint Veronica who reportedly gave a handkerchief to Jesus so he could wipe sweat from his face on the way to Calvary, with some genus plants having markings that resemble the markings on the sacred handkerchief.

Specific epithet means similar to gentian (Gentiana).

'Variegata' is a variegated leaf form of gentian speedwell. Rosettes of broad, oblong-lanceolate, glossy dark green, basal leaves (to 3" long) are marked with creamy white, with the much smaller stem leaves often exhibiting more clearly defined marginal variegation. Flowering stems rise from the rosettes to 18" tall and are topped with 8-10" long, loose, terminal racemes of white, cup-shaped flowers tinged with blue (1/2 to 3/4" wide) in late spring to early summer. Specific epithet (gentianoides) is somewhat misleading since the flowers of this species, including this cultivar, are definitely not gentian blue.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems.

Garden Uses

Rock gardens, border fronts.