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October 18, 2018
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Spiked Speedwell 'Blue form'
Veronica spicata 
Unavailable in 2018 

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(What's my zone?)
Zone: 4 to 8
Perennial
Vitals
EXPOSURE
Full Sun to Part Shade
BLOOM SEASON
Blooms early summer to late summer
SIZE
12"-24"
12"-18"
Cultivar Notes - 'Blue form'
Spike Speedwell is the most popular of the various Veronicas available. Plants form a bushy clump of dark-green leaves, bearing upright spikes of violet-blue flowers through the summer months. Removing faded spikes will keep plants in flower for much longer. Excellent for cutting. Clumps may be pruned hard if they get floppy. Easily divided in fall or early spring. Powdery mildew is sometimes a problem, but growing plants in a moist site will help to prevent this disease. Flowers are attractive to butterflies.
Genus Notes - Veronica
The name of this genus honors St. Veronica, who was said to have witnessed Christ's journey to Calvary and wiped tears from his face. One variety V. officinalis, was used to concoct tea in Europe until the nineteenth century. Now encompassing about 250 species throughout the North Temperate Zone, V. longifolia, V. spicata, and V. prostrata have been in cultivation the longest and have yielded most of the hybrids enjoyed today.

Most garden Veronicas are derived from inhabitants of fertile meadows and open woodlands, in areas typically supplied with ample nutrients and water. Therefore, they perform best in a rich, moist soil. Blue is the dominant floral color--often a remarkable, intense blue. However, lovely shades of white, pink, and red are also encountered. They are grown for their delightful, long-lasting spikes of flowers and easy care and make an excellent addition to a mixed border.

Veronicas (Speedwells) are clump forming perennials for the sunny border. Most are relatively compact and have upright well-branched flower spikes. Speedwells provide a lively contrast with other flower shapes. They vary in height, habit, and bloom time, but all prefer full sun and well-drained soil.

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