Plant Taxonomy of Veronica Flowers:
Characteristics of Veronica Plants:
Planting Zones for Veronica Flowers:
Sun and Soil Requirements for Veronica Plants:
Care for Veronica Flowers:
Uses in Landscaping:
Wildlife Attracted to Veronica Flowers:
Outstanding Feature of Veronica Plants:
Other Types of Veronica Flowers, Meaning of the Name:
There are many types of speedwell plants. For our purposes (gardening), we can divide them into two groups:
- Upright growers
In addition to 'Royal Candles' speedwell, another popular upright type is Veronica longifolia 'Sunny Border Blue' (planting zones 4-8). Not only does it have longer leaves than 'Royal Candles' (as its Latin specific epithet suggests), but it is also a taller plant, capable of reaching 3 feet in height.
For another tall, spiky plant to grow at the back of a perennial border, consider Culver's root (for a photo, click More Images under the picture above to access the mini-photo gallery). Variously classified as Veronica virginica or as a member of the closely related genus, Veronicastrum (Veronicastrum virginicum), Culver's root (planting zones 3-8) can reach 6 feet in height and has whorled leaves. But perhaps Culver's root is best known for its spikiness: Not only does it bear flower spikes, but those spikes occur in clusters. The effect is often described as "candelabra-like."
But the genus of Veronica plants is nothing if not diverse and includes low-growing plants, as well. For example, Veronica umbrosa 'Georgia Blue' (planting zones 4-8) stays less than 6 inches tall, making it useful as a flowering ground cover. See my pictures of flowering ground covers for more examples.
The name, "Veronica" is a contracted version of two Latin words joined together, vera ("true") and iconica ("image"). According to legend, a kind woman wiped the blood and sweat from Christ's face with her veil as he was passing her on the way to Calvary. Miraculously, the "true image" of his face was transferred onto this linen. The woman also came to be known as "Saint Veronica."