July 18, 2013

Spiky Veronica Hybrids

I've been amassing Veronica (speedwell) hybrids lately.  Their spiky form is wonderful in bouquets with English roses and Astrantia (masterwort), which is my other favorite flower lately.  Here is a roundup of the different types I have so far, most of which are still small because they're newly planted or recently cut into pieces and replanted.  Above is 'Sunny Border Blue', which grows to 2' tall and a little over 1' wide.  The color is a little more blue than this photo shows, though not as true blue as the catalogs show.

Here is 'Royal Candles', which stays a little shorter at 1.5' tall and 16" wide.  The flowers are bluer than my photo - it's hard to get true blues or reds just right in photos, it seems.  These spikes are almost done blooming, and you can see that they started at the bottom and progressed to the top flowers opening.  I like them best when the bottom half is open and the top is still in bud.

This is bubblegum pink 'Giles Van Hees', which supposedly grows to 6" tall and 1' wide but is obviously a little taller than that.  In my garden most of these Veronicas bloom in July, which is nice because by that time the big rush of June bloomers has finished and the garden needs some color.

Above is 'Minuet', which is an icy pink with silvery foliage.  It grows to 15" tall and 1' wide.  Veronicas can handle light shade, sandy or clay soil, and they're supposed to be rabbit resistant.  They also attract hummingbirds.

'Red Fox' is the deepest pink Veronica in my garden.  It's described as red but I wouldn't call it that.  This one is also 15" tall and about 1' wide.  The color stands up well to the blazing midsummer sun. 

Here is what I think is 'Eveline' (20" tall and 1' wide).  I picked it up at Home Depot a couple of years ago without a tag, but HD is carrying Veronicas that look just like this right now and they're tagged as 'Eveline'.  In my garden this one went nuts reseeding.  It has been fun to share seedlings with friends - they seem to come true - but I'm going to be careful to deadhead this year to avoid so many babies.  I'm not sure if all my Veronicas will be so generous (annoying?) with their seedlings.  Hopefully not, since the others are V. spicata hybrids and this one is V. longifolia.

The newest Veronica in my garden is 'Icicle', which grows to 26" tall and 1' wide.  It's still very small but should be full size by next summer.  This is not the best photo, but lately I've been spending so much time watering, pulling weeds and deadheading that I haven't spent much time with my camera.

Maybe someone can help me identify this last Veronica.  It's a sweet, light true blue and blooms earlier than the other ones.  The spikes are looser and the individual flowers are larger than my other types.  I think it must be a Veronica teucrium, but the color doesn't look as dark as the photos of V. teucrium 'Crater Lake Blue' or 'Royal Blue' that I've seen online.  It has grown vigorously in sun or shade and looks really nice next to the chartreuse flowers of lady's mantle.


  1. Hi VW,

    Lovely, I do enjoy Veronicas too, although they do look messy once the lower blooms are gone. I have a couple of different types and can only remember one is called 'twilight' which is quite tall and its blooms longer and more slender than my other.
    Have you tried Veronicastrum? I love it so much, such a tall beauty...

    What more could I want??? Tall spikey blooms, yes please!

    1. Liz, I have thought of Veronicastrum 'Fascination' but don't know if I have enough room to make a good stand of it. There's one spot but I think I might prefer Thalictrum 'Elin' instead, if I can find it. Both of these tall ones are hard to source.

  2. Hi,

    I'm sure you could fit some Veronicastrum toward the back of a border somewhere ;)
    Me, tempting? Never!
    I have some Thalictrum which was sent to me by mistake - I ordered Aquilegia Nora Barlow - and it bloomed a couple of years, was unhappy because the place I planted it was too dry - thinking it was Aquilegia as expected - so I moved it and still, nothing.

  3. I have Sunny Border Blue, and a pink one (whose name I can't remember right now). Neither have done well in my garden... though the blue one has done better. I do like them when they are blooming and so do the pollinators. Can't help you with the last photo's ID.


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