Veronica spicata ssp. incana (Veronica incana ssp. incana, Pseudolysimachion incanum) | Silver Speedwell ‘Pure Silver’
Silver Speedwell, also called Spiked Speedwell and Woolly Speedwell is native to northern Europe and Russia. It’s an upright, clump-forming, herbaceous perennial that produces small, densely packed violet-blue flowers that form tapered, spike-like racemes that rise well above the mound of narrow, toothed, silvery foliage. Flowers reach up to 24 inches tall and typically bloom from mid-June to August. They are attractive to bees and butterflies. Pure Silver’ Speedwell gets its name because of its densely hairy leaves that are silver, white or gray-green.
The genus name honors Saint Veronica who reportedly gave a handkerchief to Jesus so he could wipe sweat from his face on the way to Calvary, with some plants having markings that resemble the markings on the sacred handkerchief. In Latin, spicata means ‘spiked’ in reference to the flower spikes.
Grows best in average, consistently moist, well-drained soil in full sun. Requires excellent winter drainage. ‘Pure Silver’ Speedwell plants do not perform well in hot and humid summers with significant rainfall, so water plants at the base when possible to avoid wetting the foliage. They also have shallow roots and are generally intolerant of dry soil conditions. Will tolerate light shade. Deadhead for repeat blooms.
Grow in meadows, rock gardens, foundations, beds, and borders. Spreads via slow-growing root-stock and self-seeding.
Received the Award of Garden Merit from the The Royal Horticultural Society.
Sun exposure: Full sun
Mature height: 12-24 inches
Mature width: 8-12 inches
Hardiness zones: 3-8