American Speedwell (Veronica americana)
We often encounter the tiny four-petaled blue flowers of the Veronica genus on our hikes in a variety of settings. V. Americana is the most common Speedwell in the northwest woods. It has longer leaves and is found at lower elevations than the Cusick’s and Alpine Speedwells. Other distinguishing Americana traits are its consistently opposite lance-shaped leaves and how its flowers form horizontal sprays rather than vertical racemes.
Often called American Brooklime in Europe, because it grows along or even in shallow streams and brooks near where birds can get ‘limed’ or stuck in the boggy ground. The slightly bitter leaves can be eaten in a salad.