Java Speedwell
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Java Speedwell
B Native Photo: N Arun Kumar
Common name: Java Speedwell
Botanical name: Veronica javanica    Family: Plantaginaceae (Isabgol family)
Synonyms: Veronica murorum, Veronica chamaedryoides

Java Speedwell is an annual or biennial herb, 10-30 cm tall, velvet-hairy with multicellular hairs. Stems are branched at base, main stems erect or ascending, lateral branches prostrate-rising up. Leaf-stalk 1-7 mm; leaf blade ovate to ovate-triangular, 1-4 x 0.7-3 cm, base shallowly heart-shaped to flat, margin deeply incised toothed, tip blunt. Flowers are borne in racemes in leaf-axils, short and almost corymb-like in flowering, elongated and up to 10 cm in fruit; bracts linear to inverted-lanceshaped, 4-6 mm. Flowers are white, pink, or red-purple, pinwheel-shaped, about 2 mm; tube less than 1.5 mm; throat hairy. Stamens about 1/2 as long as flower. Flower-stalk is much shorter than bract. Sepal-cup is 4-lobed; sepals linear-elliptic, 2-5 mm, almost equal. Capsule is inverted-heart-shaped, strongly compressed, 2-3 x 3-4 mm, fringed with hairs. Java Speedwell is native to Tropical Africa, Tropical & Subtropical Asia and East Himalaya. Flowering: February-April.

Identification credit: Natascha Maciuga, N Arun Kumar Photographed in Bangalore, Karnataka.

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