Veronica chamaedrys is the botanical name for this plant. It belongs to the plantain family - Plantaginaceae. The vernacular has given it other names: eyebright, female bite, male faithful, wild forget-me-not and storm flowers.
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Origin and habitat
Germander speedwell probably originally came from West Asia. Nowadays the plant is common all over Europe. As a so-called neophyte, it is also conquering the American continent more and more.
Potential habitats are numerous in number. Germander speedwell can be found on meadows and in sparse forests, as well as under hedges, bushes and on roadsides. However, the plant needs to get enough sun for it to flower. The flowers stay out in the shade.
Germander speedwell can also settle in private gardens without being asked or even be cultivated there.
Appearance and stature
- Lifespan: persistent / perennial
- Height: 10-35 cm.
- Flowers: approx. 10 mm wide, four blue petals, two white stamens
- Flowering period: May to August
- Leaves: green, 2 to 3 cm long, up to 3 cm wide, notched
- Fruits: capsule fruits, triangular to heart-shaped
The special thing about the flowers of this plant is their short life. Just two days after opening, the flower has already wilted.
The capsule fruits of this wild plant open when wet and release their seeds. These are known as raindrop walkers because they are spread by rainwater. Wind, ants and “chance” also play a part in the spread.
In contrast, vegetative reproduction takes place via underground runners.
Germander speedwell is not poisonous for us humans. Its flowers and leaves can even be eaten raw or cooked. They should be characterized by a mild taste.
The medicinal properties of germander speedwell were well known in earlier times. Now that medicinal herbs are rarely used, they have been almost completely forgotten. These ingredients are of course still available and waiting to be rediscovered. They are particularly effective at:
- Wound healing
- Blood purification
- Gastrointestinal problems
- Metabolic problems