Veronica wormskjoldii Roemer & J.A. Schultes

Alpine Speedwell

Habitat: Cool ravines, wet moss and alpine rocks. [Alpine or subalpine (non-forested, upland)]

Range: Alaska to Greenland, south to the mountains of Maine and New Hampshire.

Aids to Identification: Speedwells are small herbs whose flowers have 4 petals, typically the lowermost is smaller than the other 3, and they have only 2 stamens. This perennial speedwell grows from 7-30 cm in height, with a hairy main stem which terminates in a raceme of flowers. Flowers are violet and 6-10 mm wide. Leaves are opposite, elliptic in shape, sometimes slightly toothed, and 1-4 cm long. The similar and common V. serpyllifolia is found at lower elevations and has stems that are prostrate at the base rather than erect from the base.

Ecological characteristics: Known to occur in Maine only on Mount Katahdin.

Phenology: Perennial. Flowers July - August.

Family: Plantaginaceae (formerly in Orobanchaceae)

Synonyms: Maine and New England populations are represented by var. wormskjoldii. Synonyms include Veronica alpina L. var. terra-novae Fern.; Veronica alpina L. var. unalaschcensis Cham. & Schlecht.

Known Distribution in Maine: This rare plant has been documented from a total of 1 town(s) in the following county: Piscataquis.

Reason(s) for rarity: At southern limit of range.

Conservation considerations: Known populations are small and subject to the vagaries of small populations like random fluctuations or localized disturbance events.