Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Purslane Speedwell - Veronica peregrina   L.
Members of Plantaginaceae:
Members of Veronica with account distribution info or public map:
Google Images
Section 6 » Order Scrophulariales » Family Plantaginaceae
DistributionThroughout the state, collections from practically all counties.

The species is found essentially across all of Canada and the U.S.
AbundanceFairly common to common across the entire state, not obviously more numerous in one area than another. Despite its range in the state, it is not overly common nor anywhere near as abundant as are many other "open country", weedy native species -- like several asters (e.g., Symphyotrichum pilosum), goldenrods (e.g., Solidago altissima), and Canada Toadflax (Linaria canadensis).
HabitatThis is a species of sunny, usually disturbed areas. It grows along roadsides, abandoned fields, powerline clearings, and other such places. Though considered as a native species, one must wonder if it is an introduction in some areas, or simply just how native it truly is.
PhenologyBlooms in April and May, rarely later; fruits into the summer.
IdentificationThis is a quite small and very easily overlooked herb, growing only to about 6-8 inches high, though typically with some branching. There are rather small, paired/opposite leaves along the stem, but they are often alternate on the branches. Each leaf is quite narrow and nearly entire (may have some serrations near the tip), about 1-inch long and barely 1/5-inch wide, with slightly rounded tips and sessile but tapering bases. The several racemes grow along the branches, but the flowers are scattered and quite small, interspersed with leaves, and thus are easily overlooked. Each has 4 white petals, but the spread flower is barely 1/8-inch across. You may need to check various keys to separate it from the many non-native species of Veronica in the state; most species in NC have blue or pale blue flowers. In general, identify this native species by its tiny white flowers (4 petals), flowers in racemes that are leafy (leaves beneath each flower) as opposed to naked racemes with flowers only, and an erect growth form (as several others in the genus are decumbent or sprawling). Of course, if the plants are growing without flowers, you likely will go right past them without noticing them, or if noticing them, have no idea what family it belongs to, much less what genus or species!
Taxonomic CommentsThere are several varieties in the US. Weakley (2018) considers that the nominate one -- Veronica peregrina var. peregrina -- is the only one in NC.

Other Common Name(s)American Speedwell, Neckweed
State RankS5
Global RankG5
State Status
US Status
USACE-agcpFAC link
USACE-empFAC link
County Map - click on a county to view source of record.
Photo Gallery
B.A. SorrieWhispering Pines, fallow field. 29 Apr 2015. MoorePhoto_natural
Select a source
Select an occurrence type