Veronica serpyllifolia L.

Thyme Speedwell

Sp. Pl. 12 (1753) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Uncertain

Prostrate to erect rhizomatous perennial herb to c. 10 cm high; stems often rooting at lower nodes, with minute antrorse hairs, rarely with spreading multicellular, sometimes glandular hairs. Leaves sessile or subsessile, broad-elliptic, mostly 4–16 mm long, 2–11 mm wide, apex obtuse, base rounded, margins minutely crenate, glabrous or with minute antrorse hairs. Flowers solitary in the axils of leaf-like bracts; pedicels 1–4.5 mm long. Calyx-lobes 2.5–6.5 mm long, 1–2 mm wide in fruit, glabrous or sparsely ciliate; corolla 2–4.5 mm long, blue. Capsule oblong, 2.1–4 mm long, 2.5–4.6 mm wide, emarginate, sparsely ciliate around margin; style 1.3–3 mm long. Flowers spring and summer.

CVU, EGL, EGU, HNF, HSF, NIS, OtR, SnM, Strz, VRiv, VVP, WPro, *GipP, *VAlp. Also Qld, NSW, ACT, Tas. New Zealand, Europe, western Asia. In Victoria mostly in moist peaty soils, soaks and along stream margins, in montane to alpine areas, Portland district and Otway Range, occasionally a weed of well-watered lawns and gardens (e.g. Trentham, Trafalgar, Melbourne suburbs).

Victorian occurrences of Veronica serpyllifolia may include both native and naturalised elements. Plants in alpine and subalpine sites on the Bogong High Plains and Mt Buller (also Southern Tablelands of New South Wales) may be native. These resemble V. serpyllifolia subsp. humifusa (Dicks.) Syme in the spreading glandular hairs on the inflorescence axis, but differ from that subspecies (as it is recognized in Europe) in the more erect habit and in having mostly more than 18 flowers per raceme (c.f. 8–15 flowers for subsp. humifusa). Plants with shorter, antrorsely curved, non-glandular inflorescence hairs appear referable to the typical subspecies and are probably naturalised at both high and low elevations. Further work is required to determine the correct placement and origin of the two entities.

Source: Briggs, B.G.; Barker, W.R. (1999). Veronica. In: Walsh, N.G.; Entwisle, T.J. (eds), Flora of Victoria Vol. 4, Cornaceae to Asteraceae. Inkata Press, Melbourne.
Updated by: Val Stajsic, 2018-10-25
Hero image
Distribution map
life Life
kingdom Plantae
phylum Tracheophyta
superorder Asteranae
order Lamiales
genus Veronica
Higher taxa


Source: AVH (2014). Australia's Virtual Herbarium, Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, <>. Find Veronica serpyllifolia in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Veronica serpyllifolia in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Victorian Volcanic Plain present uncertain
Victorian Riverina present uncertain
Gippsland Plain present introduced
Central Victorian Uplands present uncertain
Northern Inland Slopes present uncertain
East Gippsland Lowlands present uncertain
East Gippsland Uplands present uncertain
Wilsons Promontory present uncertain
Highlands-Southern Fall present uncertain
Highlands-Northern Fall present uncertain
Otway Ranges present uncertain
Strzelecki Ranges present uncertain
Victorian Alps present introduced
Snowy Mountains present uncertain

State distribution

Distribution map
New South Wales
Australian Capital Territory