Prostrate to erect annual or perennial herbs or semi-woody shrubs, sometimes rhizomatous; stems simple or branched, glabrous, pilose, pubescent, sometimes glandular-pubescent. Leaves opposite, sometimes 3 or 4 in a whorl, alternate, sometimes crowded in lower part of stem and arranged in rosettes, entire to serrate, pinnatifid or palmately divided, sessile or petiolate. Inflorescence axillary or terminal, racemose, bracteate. Calyx 4- or 5-lobed, rarely 2-lobed; corolla shortly tubular or tube absent, 4- or rarely 3-lobed, white, yellow, violet, pink, blue; stamens 2, epipetalous, exserted from corolla-tube; ovary 2-locular with a septum, style 1, ovules few-many, placentation axile or free-central. Capsule ellipsoid, ovoid, subglobose or obcordate, usually slightly to strongly laterally compressed, sometimes dorsiventrally flattened, obtuse or emarginate.
c. 435–470 species, mostly Europe and temperate Asia, with a large species radiation in section Hebe in New Zealand. Also in North America, New Guinea, tropical Africa and southern South America; 37 species in Australian species of which 26 are native. .
Veronica as is treated here includes the Australasian genera Derwentia, Hebe, Chionohebe and Parahebe (Albach et al. 2004). Phylogenetic analyses of nuclear and chloroplast DNA sequence data suggest that these genera form a group that is closely related to one of the several northern hemisphere Veronica lineages (Albach et al. 2004). All native Victorian Veronica are placed in subgenus Pseudoveronica and section Labiatoides (Garnock-Jones et al. 2007), with exception to Veronica serpyllifolia which is placed in subgenus Beccabunga (Albach et al. 2004).