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Genus Veronica Family Plantaginaceae

Synonyms: Chionohebe APNI*
Pygmaea APNI*

Description: Erect or prostrate perennial or annual herbs, usually pilose.

Leaves opposite, margins toothed or entire.

Inflorescence axillary or terminal racemes or sometimes appearing solitary; flowers alternate. Sepals 4 [or 5], free or fused at base. Corolla with a short tube and 4 [or 5] spreading lobes; blue, lilac or pink, usually with darker veins. Stamens 2, exserted, epipetalous. Ovary 2-locular with a septum; style 1; ovules usually many; placentation axile or free-central.

Fruit a capsule, compressed or rarely 4-lobed or ± globose, usually emarginate, dehiscing by loculicidal splits and sometimes secondarily splitting septicidally.


Distribution and occurrence: World: c. 300 species, chiefly northern temperate, a few tropical mtns. and southern temperate region. Australia: 21 species (9 species naturalized), all States.

Text by B. G. Briggs, B. Wiecek & A. J. Whalen
Taxon concept:

 Key to the species 
1Annual or perennial herbs or semiwoody perennials;fruit capsule usually strongly laterally compressed, septicidal and often partly loculicidal2
Woody perennials or subshrubs;fruit capsule usually not strongly compressed,septicidal and often partly loculicidal16
2Herbs growing in or near water; stems hollow, glabrous, mostly more than 30 cm high3
Herbs of non-aquatic sites; stems not hollow, pilose, mostly less than 30 cm high
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4
3Flowers blue or lilac, capsule usually slightly longer than broad and not or scarcely emarginate; fruiting pedicels ascending, mostly 5–6 mm long and longer than bractsVeronica anagallis-aquatica
Flowers pink, capsule usually broader than long and slightly emarginate; fruiting pedicels spreading, mostly 2.5–3 mm long and shorter than bracts
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Veronica catenata
4Perennial herbs, flowers in lateral racemes with bracts distinctly smaller than leaves5
Annual or perennial herbs, flowers in axils of leaves or bracts on upper parts of leafy stems (ie. internal racemes); bracts similar to or much smaller than leaves
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12
5Plant with above-ground stolons or prostrate stems6
Plant with underground rhizomes
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10
6Leaves mostly more than 30 mm long7
Leaves mostly less than 30 mm long
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8
7Leaves with base cuneate; capsules shallowly obcordate with rounded lobes; calyx lobes often glabrous toward apex; stem hairs mostly long and spreadingVeronica notabilis
Leaves with base mostly truncate; capsules slightly emarginate with somewhat diverging lobes; calyx lobes usually finely ciliate on margins and apex; stem hairs mostly short, slender and antrorsely curved
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Veronica grosseserrata
8Leaves with rounded or subacute apex and teeth; hairs on stems 1–2 mm longVeronica calycina
Leaves with acute apex and teeth; hairs on stems all or mostly less than 0.4 mm long
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9
9Leaves with 3–8 teeth along each margin; very short stem hairs often mixed with longer hairs and not confined to lateral bandsVeronica plebeia
Leaves with 2–5 teeth along each margin; hairs on stems very short and inconspicuous, usually all less than 0.4 mm long, confined to lateral bands
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Veronica brownii
10Calyx lobes in fruit elliptic to broad-obovate, 2.5–4 mm wideVeronica sobolifera
Calyx lobes in fruit linear to narrow-obovate, 0.8–2.5 mm wide
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11
11Stems with fine rigid hairs c. 0.5 mm long; leaves narrow-ovate or linear, mostly 1.5–4 mm wide, entire or with 1–4 pairs of spreading teeth; capsule broader than long, upper margin with scattered hairsVeronica gracilis
Stems with very short hairs c. 0.1 mm long; leaves linear, mostly 0.6–2 mm wide, entire; capsule longer than broad, glabrous
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Veronica subtilis
12Pedicels more than 5 mm long in fruit13
Pedicels less than 5 mm long in fruit
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14
13Pedicels 30–40 mm long in fruit; capsules distinctly broader than longVeronica persica
Pedicels 12–18 mm long in fruit; capsules slightly broader than long
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Veronica hederifolia
14Leaves ovate-triangular, coarsely toothed or crenate with obtuse teeth; bracts lanceolate or linear, acuteVeronica arvensis
Leaves narrow- or broad-elliptic, entire or finely toothed
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15
15Leaves narrow-elliptic; style c. 0.2 mm long in fruit so that stigma appears sessileVeronica peregrina
Leaves broad-elliptic, style 1.3–2.7 mm long in fruit
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Veronica serpyllifolia
16Alpine prostrate sub-shrub usually less than 10 cm high with densely crowded leaves in 4 ranks: fruit slightly compressed laterally, obovateVeronica densifolia
Not as above
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17
17Leaves broad-ovate and toothed with the underside bright purple; found in the Central TablelandsVeronica lithophila
Not as above
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18
18Leaves linear or with linear lobes or divisions, not glaucous; capsules emarginate19
Leaves very narrow-ovate to wide-ovate, green or glaucous; capsules acute or truncate or emarginate
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20
19Leaves pinnately divided with the primary segments about a third to half as long as the leaves and often further divided or lobed; leaves usually in compact clusters on very short lateral branches at the lower nodes; capsules strongly compressed, 1–1.5 mm thickVeronica nivea
Leaves entire or with teeth or lobes less than a fifth as long as the leaf; lateral branches not developing compact clusters of leaves; capsules compressed, 1.5–2 mm thick
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Veronica arenaria
20Plant not conspicuously glaucous (except sometimes the lower surfaces of leaves); stems hairy with sparse or dense short hairs or glabrous; leaves with 15–80 teeth along each margin21
Vegetative parts glabrous and glaucous; leaves entire or with up to 22 teeth along each margin
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22
21Leaves glabrous or with only margins sparsely ciliate; hairs on stems usually denser in longitudinal bands, hairs 0.2–2 mm long; flowers white or pale lilac or pale blueVeronica derwentiana
Leaves and stems densely and evenly covered with very short hairs 0.1–0.3 mm long; flowers violet-blue or pale lavender
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Veronica velutina
22Leaves often V-shaped in cross section, recurved, with 6–18 teeth along each margin; capsules obtuse or truncate or emarginate23
Leaves mostly flat and spreading, entire or toothed, with up to 10 or rarely more teeth along each margin; capsules acute or obtuse
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Veronica perfoliata
23Corolla 6–7 mm long; capsules truncate or emarginate, 3–6.5 mm longVeronica blakelyi
Corolla 9.5–11 mm long; capsules obtuse or truncate, mostly 6–9.5 mm long
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Veronica arcuata

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