Veronica (Speedwell) ver-RON-ih-ka
For gardeners with limited time, choosing carefree plants is key to a low-maintenance yard. Speedwell (Veronica) is a tough ornamental that is tolerant of different soils and watering needs, with varieties that are hardy in most regions. Sizes and forms range from creeping groundcovers a few inches high to upright flower spikes reaching several feet tall. Low growers are suited for containers, border edging and rock gardens, while taller veronicas make good cut flowers and combine well with other plants in beds and borders. Groundcovers tend to bloom in spring, while spiky forms produce flowers during the summer.
There are more than 500 species of Veronica with origins mainly in Europe. Nearly all are long-lived perennials, particularly those grown by home gardeners, though a small percentage are annuals. Veronica flowers are attractive to hummingbirds, butterflies and pollinating insects, making them eco-friendly, too.