Ontario Weeds: Purslane speedwell

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Excerpt from Publication 505, Ontario Weeds, Order this publication

Table of Contents

  1. Name
  2. Other Names
  3. Family
  4. General Description
  5. Flowers and Fruit
  6. Stems and Roots
  7. Habitat
  8. Similar Species
  9. Related Links
Name: Purslane speedwell, Veronica perlgrina L.,

Other Names: véronique voyageuse, Neckweed, Veronica

Family: Figwort or Snapdragon Family (Scrophulariaceae)

General Description: Annual, reproducing only by seed.

Photos and Pictures

Purslane speedwell.

Purslane speedwell.

Purslane speedwell. A. Plant. B. Seedpod.
Purslane speedwell.
A. Plant. B. Seedpod.

Stems & Roots: Stems erect or much-branched near the base and becoming erect, smooth or with fine, slightly sticky hair; stems and leaves with a somewhat fleshy texture (hence "purslane" in the English name); lower and middle leaves opposite (2 per node), oblong or somewhat linear, smooth or irregularly toothed, lower ones short-stalked, middle and upper ones stalkless; upper leaves alternate (1 per node), smaller and narrower, each with a flower in its axil.

Flowers & Fruit: Flower stalks extremely short; corolla flat, 4-lobed, 2mm (1/12in.) across, white or whitish; seedpods flat, heart-shaped with a notch at the top; each leafy bract usually much longer than its flower or seedpod. Flowers from early May to July, and occasionally again in autumn.

Habitat: Purslane speedwell occurs throughout Ontario but is most common in the southern portion of the province in gardens, orchards, lawns, waste places, roadsides, railways, stony areas and occasionally in greenhouses.

Similar Species: It is distinguished by its somewhat smooth and fleshy stem and leaves, its lower leaves opposite and narrow, upper ones alternate, smaller, and its tiny white flowers on very short stalks, followed by small heart-shaped seedpods.

Related Links

... on general Weed topics
... on weed identification, order OMAFRA Publication 505: Ontario Weeds
... on weed control, order OMAFRA Publication 75: Guide To Weed Control

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