Speedwell in Des Moines in Bloom

March 11, 2016

The picture below is from Larry Ginger of American Lawn Care.  It is of Speedwell at the edge of a lawn in Altoona, Iowa, by Des Moines.  This is likely Persian speedwell (Veronica persica) also known as creeping Speedwell, Common Field Speedwell, or Winter Speedwell.  It is commonly found in Iowa, although I do not see a lot of it in central Iowa.  It has opposite, rounded, toothed, leaves and forms a dense mat runners in the lawn.  It generally lives as a winter annual and likely germinated in the fall of 2015.   It is surprising to see it in bloom in early March.

Speedwell in Des Moines

Speedwell is known for its heart shaped seed pod (see below).  This picture was taken on campus from another sample of common speedwell.

Speedwell on Campus

It is difficult to control with standard broadleaf herbicides and may persist when other broadleaves have been controlled.  Applying 2,4-D alone will unlikely be successful. A combination product with at least 3 ingredients, including dicamba and a pyridine such as triclopyr or fluroxypyr will likely give the best control. Repeat applications may be necessary. 


Nick Christians Professor

Nick Christians, Ph.D. – University professor of turfgrass management, Iowa State University, Department of Horticulture, Ames, IA, and adjunct faculty, Department of Agronomy, Iowa State University, Ames, IA. Dr. Christians received his B.S. from the Colorado State University ...