Veronica 'Purpleicious'

purpleicious speedwell    Perennial of the Month-- September 2015 Perry caricature

 (pronunciation at link)  (ver-ohn-i-kah')

Common name: Purpleicious Hybrid Speedwell

Family:   plantain family (Plantaginaceae, formerly listed under figwort family, Scrophulariaceae)

Height x width: 12-24in. x 9-18in.

Growth rate, habit: moderate, upright clumping

Foliage: stems 6-8in. with leaves--narrow, lance-shaped, to 2in. long; shiny, dark green

Flowers: on stalks (racemes) up to 12in. of flowers, above leaves; deep violet purple flower spikes, dense, tapered at the tips, bloom beginning late spring (south) to mid-summer (north) over long period of two months or more on average 

Hardiness: USDA hardiness zones 4-8 (-20 to -30 averge winter minimum)

Soil: average, well-drained (particularly in winter); grow best with consistent moisture

Light: full sun, will tolerate light shade

Pests and problems: none serious, root rots in wet soils

Landscape habit, uses:  rock gardens, fronts of borders, massed, containers, cut flower, butterfly gardens;combines well with tickseeds (Coreopsis) such as Moonbeam, Silver mound artemisia, Shasta daisy, lambs' ears (Stachys), salvia, black-eyed Susan, interplanted and in front of roses

Other interest:  "resistant" to rabbit and deer browsing; genus is native to Europe and Asia; named in honor of St. Veronica as markings on some species flowers resemble markings on the handkerchief of St. Veronica; this cultivar a hybrid from Jan Verschoor of Haarlem, Netherlands selected in 2000 with spicata and longifolia crosses as parents

Other culture: remove spent flowers for repeat bloom in long seasons 

Propagation:  at home: spring or fall division, softwood cuttings in summer; USPP17639 so commercially by licensed propagators

Sources:  many online and local specialty nurseries

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