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Statewide IPM Program, University of California

Thymeleaf speedwell  (Veronica serpyllifolia)

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Life stages of thymeleaf speedwell flowering stem leaves infesting turf

Thymeleaf speedwell, a perennial broadleaf plant, is an uncommon turf weed that is found primarily in foothills of central California but is an uncommon turf weed lawns in western parts of California. It is found in wastelands, fertile fields, gardens, and lawns.


Cotyledons (seed leaves) are spoon to egg shaped. The first true leaves are stalkless, hairless, have a smooth edge, and are opposite to one another along the stem.

Mature plant

Thymeleaf speedwell stems are mostly creeping and root at joints (nodes) giving it the ability to grow into dense mats. Stems can reach about 1 foot (30 cm) long to the tip of their branching flower stalks. Lower leaves are oval to roundish, have smooth or fine-toothed edges, and are opposite one another along the stem. Upper leaves are oval to football shaped, smaller than the lower leaves, and are alternate to one another along the stem. The lower leaves are short-stalked, but upper leaves are stalkless, which distinguishes it from Persian speedwell that has leaves that are all stalked. Also thymeleaf speedwell has mostly hairless leaves whereas Persian speedwell has hairy leaves.


The flowers are about 1/4 to 1/3 of an inch (6–8 mm) in diameter, four petaled, white to pale blue with darker lines, and have a stalk roughly 1/5 of an inch (5 mm) long.


The fruits consist of a small heart-shaped, usually hairy capsule with a notched tip. Capsules are roughly 1/10 to 1/7 of an inch (2.5–3.5 mm) long.


Reproduces by seed and by rooting stems.

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