Ivy-Leaf Speedwell

March 10th, 2012

Latin:  Veronica hederifolia

 Irish:   Lus cré eidhneach


A short hairy annual with straggling stems 10-40cm long most often found in cultivated and waste ground.  Although a native plant, it is a relatively rare species in Ireland; infrequent in the eastern half and rather rare in the west.  The leaves are small, have quite prominent hairs and are ivy-like in outline with 5 lobes and a short stalk.

Small (4-5mm across), solitary flowers appear during late April or May in the axils of the upper leaves.  They are pale blue or lilac in colour and have 4 slightly unequal petals.


There are no reports of culinary use but it has been used in folk medicine in the treatment of scurvy. It is also used as a remedy for skin complaints, burns and ulcers and painful piles.  A scientific basis for its efficacy may be deduced from recent reports of pharmacologically-active compounds, iridoid glucosides, being extracted from V. hederifolia tissue.


Speciments have been located in the machinery yard and at the north end (after the gap) of the rough on the east side of 3rd fairway.


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