March 9th, 2012

Latin:  Veronica beccabunga

Irish:  Lochall


This native is a rather fleshy perennial with stout spreading stems that is usually found growing by the side of streams, lakes and ditches and other wet areas.  The stems can grow to a length of 50cm and carry oval, glossy, toothed leaves in opposite pairs.  Racemes of small (7mm across), bright blue flowers are produced from June onwards in the leaf axils – they are very similar to the flowers on other Veronica species that are seen at Castlewarden, such as, Common, Ivy-leaf, Germander and Thyme-leaved Speedwells.  The bright blue flowers of Brooklime set against glossy dark foliage make this an attractive plant that is often cultivated in ornamental ponds.

The leaves and flowering heads of Brooklime have been used as a salad plant in Ireland and throughout northern Europe since earliest times and were highly regarded as preventing scurvy.  It use as food is also referred to in Irish legends and in Irish folk medicine has been used to cure colds and coughs and as a treatment for kidney and urinary problems.


This species can be seen at north edge of lake on east side of 3rd green (near the pump housing) and in the Builder’s Paddock.

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