Latin: Veronica hederifolia

Other names: Ivy-leaved speedwell, creeping speedwell

Family: Plantaginaceae

Ivy speedwell is a common UK and Irish weed that belongs to the plantain family (Plantaginaceae). It is also known as ivy-leaved speedwell or creeping speedwell. Ivy speedwell is a low-growing annual or biennial plant known for its small, pale blue flowers and ivy-shaped leaves.

Ivy Speedwell control cereals

cotyledons and first true leaves emerging stage of Ivy leaf speedwell

Identifying Ivy Speedwell

Ivy speedwell possesses several distinct features that help distinguish it from other similar-looking plants. The stems of ivy speedwell are prostrate or ascending, and they can reach lengths of up to 30 centimeters. The leaves are opposite and vary in shape, but they often resemble the shape of ivy leaves, hence the common name “ivy speedwell.”

The flowers of ivy speedwell are small and pale blue, with dark blue veins. They have four petals and bloom from spring to early summer. The flowers are arranged in spikes at the top of the stems.

The Challenges of Ivy Speedwell

Ivy speedwell can be a problematic weed in lawns, gardens, and other managed areas. Its ability to spread through seeds and its low growth habit make it difficult to control.
– It can form dense mats that smother other plants and compete for light, water and nutrients.
– It can spread quickly by rooting at the nodes and by dispersing seeds through mowing, composting or birds.
– It can survive in a range of soil types and habitats, from open arable land to shady gardens .
– It can escape the control of some herbicides, especially if they are applied late or at low rates.