Thursday, 6 June 2013

On fast becoming a Speedwell nerd!


Since I've been (rather obsessively!) recording the wildflowers that I see on my daily rounds to the allotment, playgroup and school, I have come to realise that I have taken a lot for granted by presuming that I vaguely know the names of things. For example, for years I've just thought of speedwell as... well, er... 'speedwell'. But no... did you know that there are twelve*  varieties of speedwell!

The boys are becoming quite used to me suddenly stopping and exclaiming 'Look, there's a different one!', as I've spotted yet another variety. To my amazement I've found six, often growing in grassy areas or on rough ground by pavements.

Roger Phillips' book 'Wild Flowers of Britain' has become my favourite read these days, as you can tell by the style of my picture above. It's a brilliant book for identification, as flowers are grouped together according to the time of year they flower.
I'm sure you're all eager to know which varieties of speedwell these actually are... or perhaps that should read what I think they are (if I have misidentified any please do let me know!)

Wall Speedwell : Creeping Speedwell : Thyme-leaved Speedwell : Ivy-leaved Speedwell : Persian Speedwell : Germander Speedwell

I have really enjoyed learning all about these beautiful little blue flowers. Did you also know that they are sometimes known as 'birds eye' or 'gypsyweed' and that Persian Speedwell was introduced here from Asia and now is one of the most common speedwells! Fascinating stuff!

* as listed in 'Wild Flowers of Britain' by Roger Phillips


  1. I really enjoyed this post... being a wildflower geek since I was knee high to a buttercup.

    Speedwell is having a good year, especially Germander Speedwell which splashes wild grassy places with a beautiful blue.

    1. Thank you Celia :) I think Germander Speedwell is my favourite and yes, the blue is so beautiful.

  2. I've got Roger Phillips' book but have to admit I haven't consulted it for a long while - we've always called them Birds Eyes.


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