In my last post, I mentioned that my creeping speedwell, Veronica peduncularis ‘Georgia Blue’ (aka ‘Oxford Blue’) was blooming merrily away, but I failed to put up a photo, as the flowers looked a bit waterlogged after two days of heavy rain. I’ll make it up to you now that the sun’s come out!
This Veronica is one of my favourite early season perennials – a reliable, hardy, tidy mound that can tolerate sun or shade, drought or moisture. By lineage, ‘Georgia Blue’ is an excellent rock garden plant: it is a native of the West Caucasus mountains in – you guessed it – Georgia. Although it only sports masses of tiny, bright blue blooms for a short time in spring (and occasionally again in the cool weather of early autumn), the foliage is a treat in itself – the leaves turn bronze-purple when the temperatures cool.
A quick search on the ‘Net, however, lead me to a bit of a name-flap for my pretty plant: it turns out it may not be V. peduncularis at all. Yes, it’s definitely a ‘Georgia Blue,’ but there is a considerable amount of confusion regarding the species name. As the plant label clearly identified it as V. peduncularis when I purchased the plant a few years ago, I’ve always used that name. But it appears the plant label and I are likely wrong. V. peduncularis should be correctly assigned the name V. unbrosa instead. Or not…it seems that everyone is using both monikers synonymously.
Ah, nomenclature strikes again! 😉
I hope you’re having a wonderful weekend!
Do you grow speedwell in your garden?
- Fun Flower Facts: Veronica (Speedwell) (funflowerfacts.com)
- Rain…and a garden update. (floweryprose.com)
- Choosing the Best Flowers for Rock Gardens (proflowers.com)
- Slender Speedwell (bristolwildlife.wordpress.com)
Reblogged this on 20 Lines A Day.
I don’t grow it but it is beautiful. And I thought it was from the other Georgia, the one Sherman marched through.
I have it in my garden, my lawn and my veggie beds! I am ashamed to say that after reading your post I have been calling them the wrong name for years.
No need to be ashamed! I think if you were to walk into any garden centre in the area right now, you’d probably find them under the name V. peduncularis…. I agree with some of the other commenters – it’s probably not really worth it to try to keep up! It’s better just to enjoy the beauty of the plants! 🙂
I am glad someone mentioned forget-me-nots, that is what I thought I had. Also, on occasion I’ll get just a couple of pink flowers in a patch of blue. Please tell me….what plant do I have! LOL! (looks just like your picture too!)
Pink? Oh boy, I’m not so sure…that must be rather pretty, though! 🙂
I don’t think the name matters all that much. The fact that you anticipate and wait for it each spring and when it arrives you feel that special kind of happy that lights you up inside is all that is really important…Great photo.
Thank you! I love the way you described that wonderful feeling – it’s so perfectly true! 🙂
Hi Sheryl. I love this speedwell too, and have several clumps around the garden – it spreads wonderfully! Mine often flowers again around September/October, as you say, and the bright autumn foliage is a real bonus. I also bought mine as “peduncularis”!
I think they’re still being labelled as either/or. I’m happy to hear that yours blooms a second time a year as well – it’s always such a treat to see those amazing flowers in the fall!
Names change so frequently it is hard to keep up. As Charlie says, the fact you enjoy it is the most important thing. I thing the blue is more like Cambridge than Oxford (more your second name!). Christina
I agree – the names really don’t matter in the end. It’s a pretty plant regardless!
I did, but reading your post makes me think that I didn’t see it this last growing season. Where did it go I wonder? Terrible to lose track of one’s plants!
Oh…I do hope you find it in the spring! 🙂
These are so beautiful and remind me of forget-me-nots.
They do look quite a bit like forget-me-nots…it’s that perfect sparkling blue!
I have these wonderful blue flowers growing in my stone patio, between the cracks in the stone, they look lovely and soften the look, I love them it doesn’t matter what they are called!
They would be perfect in that type of planting! 🙂
I do grow some speedwell and I love this blue!!
I agree – you can’t beat such a lovely colour! 🙂
Sheryl, I love this plant too! Did your Georgia Blues come back this year? I didn’t see any green growth on the plants in the perennial trials at the zoo when I was there a couple of weeks ago. I’ll check again when I go tomorrow. Ann
Hi, Ann, thanks so much for stopping by my blog! Did you find any signs of the ‘Georgia Blues’ at the Zoo? I sure hope they came back this year. Mine is doing beautifully. I found another one at a garden centre this past week and purchased it – can’t have too many! 🙂
This is gorgeous with such a deep colour and yet so dainty. I have been looking for early spring perennials so I will stop by the nursery and see if they still have some. Thanks for having such an informative post. I have learned so much! ~Thea
Thanks, Thea, I’m glad you enjoyed it…I hope you can find some ‘Georgia Blue’ at one of the garden centres in town. I think you’ll really like having it in your garden – it’s a great late spring bloomer! 🙂
I think that must be what is growing, quite unbidden, in my lawn, at the edge of the rock garden. It’s really pretty, and I like it, so I haven’t pulled it out. My husband must like it too, as he hasn’t cut it down with the weed whacker. I had no idea what it was, though. It doesn’t resemble my other, intentionally planted, veronica, which has spiked flowers, at all. I wonder whether I’d have any luck moving it from the lawn into the actual garden.
It always amazes me how different it looks from the upright veronicas, which I also love. I suspect it wouldn’t be too difficult to move it from the lawn, as I don’t think it roots very deeply.
I finally got back to check on the Georgia Blues in the perennial trial garden – there is only a bit coming back on one of the five plants. I believe they were planted in 2008. Perhaps they are short-lived perennials; the others at the zoo (planted later) are fine. This didn’t stop me from buying three new plants for my own garden!
That’s very interesting – perhaps they are short-lived. Like you, I’m going to keep planting them – they’re so worth it! 🙂
Appreciatee your blog post