Veronica spicata 'Blue Bouquet'
Common Name: spiked speedwell
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Plantaginaceae
Zone: 3 to 8
Height: 1.00 to 1.50 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 1.50 feet
Bloom Time: June to August
Bloom Description: Purple-blue
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Flower: Showy
Tolerate: Rabbit, Deer

Culture

Easily grown in average, medium moisture, well-drained soil in full sun. Best performance occurs with consistent, regular moisture combined with sharp soil drainage, particularly in winter. Plants have shallow roots and are generally intolerant of dry soil conditions. Tolerates light shade. Remove spent flower spikes to encourage additional bloom. Plants may be cut back to basal growth after flowering.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Veronica spicata, commonly known as spike speedwell, is an upright, clump-forming, herbaceous perennial that typically produces a summer-long bloom of tiny, star-shaped, violet-blue flowers in dense, long-flowering, tapered-at-the-top, spike-like terminal racemes atop stems rising well above a foliage mound to 24-30” tall. Foliage consists of toothed, narrow, linear to lanceolate, medium green leaves (each to 2” long). This species is native to northern Europe and Asia. Flowers typically bloom from mid-June to August. Flowers are attractive to bees and butterflies. Cultivars with blue, violet-blue, pink and white flowers are available in commerce.

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 from Latin means spiked in reference to the flower spikes on this plant.

‘Blue Bouquet’ is an erect, clump-forming, spiked speedwell cultivar which typically grows to 12-18” tall. Leafy foliage stems are often short, but are topped with dense, vertical, tapered-at-the-top, deep purple-blue flower spikes (racemes to 12” long) which bloom from late spring well into summer. Narrow, lance-shaped, deep green leaves (to 2” long). Flowers are attractive to bees and butterflies.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems. Root rot may occur in wet, poorly-drained soils.

Garden Uses

Rock gardens, foundations, beds, borders and other sunny spots in the landscape. Good fresh cut flower.