P&PDL Picture of the Week for
April 30, 2007

Purslane speedwell (Veronica peregrina)

Glenn Nice, Weed Diagnostician, Department of Botany & Plant Pathology, Purdue University

You may have come across the name ‘speedwell’ before, but probably in the name ‘corn speedwell’ (Veronica arvensis).  Corn speedwell can be found in our fields around this time of year and is a common sight at the South East Purdue Agricultural Center.  However, a speedwell that you may not be as familiar with is purslane speedwell (V. peregina).  At first glance a person might confuse it as being related to common purslane in some way.  Possibly a reason why it is called purslane speedwell.  This particular plant is a member of the figwort family (Scrophulariaceae). 

Purslane speedwell can grow up to a foot tall and has small whitish flowers that are born in the axils of leaves.  It can bloom from May to October.  The lower leaves are opposite and can have short petioles or are sessile (having no petiole) and have small ridges or toothed margins.  The upper leaves are sessile.  This plant tends to like moist soils.  It can often be found where water has been standing in the spring.

It has been reported that purslane speedwell can be a problem in lawns, gardens and it is often referred to in winter wheat1.  However it can sometimes find its way into row crops.  Oregon State University reported that Sencor (metribuzin) and Harmony Extra (thifensulfuron + tribenuron methyl)2 had activity on speedwells.  This weed appears on the labels of several glyphosate products, Classic, and Canopy EX.  Roundup Weathermax recommends the use of 11 fl oz/A on purslane speedwell.

1) Pringnitz, B.  Purslane Speedwell.  Accessed April 26, 2007.  Iowa State University.  Web Page: http://www.weeds.iastate.edu/mgmt/qtr99-1/speedwell.htm

2) Aldrich-Markham, S.  The Speedwells.  Accessed April 26, 2007.  Oregon State University.  Web Page: http://extension.oregonstate.edu/catalog/pdf/pnw/pnw396.pdf


Click image to enlarge

Purslane speedwell

Purdue Plant & Pest Diagnostic Lab Purdue Cooperative Extension Service