Electronic Flora of South Australia
Electronic Flora of South Australia
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Electronic Flora of South Australia genus Fact Sheet

Family: Scrophulariaceae

Citation: L., Sp. Pl. 9 (1753).

Derivation: Probably after Saint Veronica, from different sources considered a nun who died in Milan in 1497, or a woman of Jerusalem in the time of Christ.

Synonymy: Not Applicable

Common name: Speedwells.

Erect to procumbent annual or perennial herbs; leaves opposite, stem-clasping or connected across the node by a ridge, toothed or entire.

Flowers alternate, in axillary or terminal racemes; sepals 4 rarely (outside Aust.) 5, free or fused at the base; corolla rotate or (outside Aust.) campanulate, with a short tube and 4 rarely (outside Aust.) 5 spreading lobes; stamens 2, spreading, exserted; style short- to long-exserted.

Capsule usually compressed, sometimes greatly, with the septum usually narrow, rarely subglobular or 4-lobed, rounded to truncate, often emarginate, dehiscing loculicidally, often secondarily and partially septicidally.

Distribution:  About 300 species, mostly in the north temperate regions of the Old World.

Biology: Terrestrial perennials, often stoloniferous; racemes axillary; bracts smaller and often very different from the leaves; pedicels lengthening in fruit. Native. (Species 1-5).

Taxonomic notes: Inflorescences with widely spaced flowers subtended by leaf-like bracts are treated in other works often as a series of solitary axillary flowers. However, as the flowers are alternately arranged and leaves are opposite below the flowering region it seems appropriate to treat the whole terminal system as the inflorescence.

Key to Species:
1. Aquatic or semi-aquatic perennial with hollow stems, glabrous apart from scattered glandular hairs in the inflorescence; leaves 15-60 mm long; racemes axillary, 15-30-flowered (Group B)
V. anagallis-aquatica 6.
1. Terrestrial annuals or perennials without hollow stems, variously pubescent on branches; leaves less than 30 cm long
2. Pedicels 1-2 mm long; style 0.2-0.5 mm long; bracts linear to narrow-elliptic, longer than the flowers; floriferous annuals with terminal racemes (Group D)
3. Indumentum on branches of short curled and long straight eglandular hairs; leaves 2-14 mm wide, crenate-serrate, the lower leaves broad-ovate; capsule eglandular-ciliate, with a deep apical cleft and a persistent style 0.3-0.5 mm long
V. arvensis 9.
3. Indumentum on branches of spreading equally long glandular hairs; leaves 1-3 mm wide, entire or sparingly serrulate, the lower leaves narrow-oblong; capsule glandular-pubescent, with a small apical notch and a persistent style c. 0.2 mm long
V. peregrina 10.
2. Pedicels 2-30 mm long; style 0.5-6.5 mm long; bracts either leaf- like and broad- to transverse-ovate or shorter than the flowers
4. Annual; inflorescences terminal, with bracts similar to the leaves, petiolate with broad blades (Group C)
5. Leaves with 1-3 pairs of broad rounded teeth; sepals cordate-ovate, erect in fruit; capsule subglobular, 4-lobed (unless seed set poor), glabrous, the persistent style 0.5-0.8 mm long
V. hederifolia 7.
5. Leaves serrate; sepals narrow-elliptic, widely spreading in fruit; capsule greatly compressed, transverse-obovate-obeordate, pubescent, the style 1.8-3 mm long
V. persica 8.
4. Perennial; inflorescences axillary in distal parts of branches, never terminal (look for terminal vegetative shoot), with bracts much smaller and often different from the leaves, sessile or rarely subpetiolate with a narrow-attenuate blade (Group A)
6. Leaves sessile, linear to narrow-ovate, 0.5-3 rarely 6 mm wide, entire or rarely serrulate; racemes 2-5-flowered; corolla lobes 4.5-6 mm long
V. gracilis 2.
6. Leaves sessile or petiolate, the blade narrow- to broad-ovate to obovate, 2-22 mm wide, serrate, rarely entire
7. Leaves sessile, obovate-elliptic; hairs on branches short, antrorse; racemes 5-20-flowered; plant not stoloniferous
V. parnkalliana 4.
7. Leaves petiolate or subsessile, with petioles 1-16 or more mm long, the blade narrow- to broad-ovate or elliptic; hairs on branches retrorse, spreading or irregularly bent, of mixed lengths; racemes 1-10-flowered; plant stoloniferous
8. Corolla lobes 8-10 mm long; anthers 1-1.4 mm long; stigma 0.25-0.4 mm diam.; capsule glabrous, the persistent style 5-6.5 mm long; leaves on branches on obscure petioles 1-2 rarely 4 mm long (longer on stolons)
V. hillebrandii 3.
8. Corolla lobes 3-6 mm long; anthers 0.8-1 mm long; stigma 0.1-0.2 mm diam.; capsule ciliate or puberulent; leaves on branches on petioles 2-16 or more mm long, sometimes 2-3 mm long in distal parts
9. Branches hirsute, predominantly in 2 rows; corolla lobes 4-6 mm long; capsule 5.5-6 mm wide, eglandular-ciliate, the persistent style 2-2.5 mm long
V. calycina 1.
9. Branches puberulent all around apart from a few longer hairs at the nodes; corolla lobes c. 3 mm long; capsule 3.5-5 mm wide, sparsely puberulent, the persistent style 0.9-1.5 mm long
V. plebeia 5.

Author: Not yet available

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