Veronica’s Tale: Discovering the Depth of Speedwell Flower Meanings

Speedwell (Veronica) is a rugged yet beautiful flowering plant that is grown around the world in challenging garden conditions. It also has a history of symbolic use dating back to Ancient Rome. Discover the deeper meaning of this blue-to-pink flower commonly known as bird’s eye.

Ultimate Guide to Speedwell (Veronica) Flower Meaning, Symbolism, Types, and Uses

Speedwell Flower Symbolism – Key Takeaways

In the language of flowers, the beautiful flowering Speedwell carries the symbolic meaning of healing, recovery, and joyfulness. It’s a popular addition to many symbolic gardens, especially for those with a Christian faith theme. Its meaning as a healing herb dates back even further to Ancient Rome.

Etymological Meaning

Speedwell as a common name comes from the propensity for most blooms to lose their petals after just a few days. The Genus name of Veronica is taken from St. Veronica, who wiped Christ’s face during his crucifixion. This has led to an association of healing and protection for the small plants that share this name. 

The name Veronica dates back to Ancient Macedonia, potentially giving this plant a far deeper history of symbolic use that has since been lost.

Speedwell Flower Meaning & Symbolism

Pink blossoms of speedwell flowers in bloom

In addition to being edible and attractive, Speedwell has hundreds of years of history behind it and is rich with symbolism and meaning in the language of flowers.

Common Speedwell Flower Colors and Their Meaning

With so many colors to choose from for Speedwell blossoms, it’s easy to tailor the precise meaning of a flower by considering the secondary message of its color.

  • Blue flowers symbolize openness for new experiences, peace, calmness, trust, and healing from illness.
  • Purple, royalty and regalness, elegance, mystery, passion, and transitions in life
  • Pink, joy, youthfulness, early or developing feelings of love, gentleness, and delicacy
  • White, innocence, purity, healing, new beginnings, romance, and devotion
  • Lavender, youthful elegance, feminine beauty, joy, and happiness.

The Cultural Significance of Speedwell Flowers

Flowering speedwell in nature

Speedwell flowers have a long history of use in ancient cultures, so it’s not surprising that the plant’s most enduring meanings date back to the early days of Christianity.

Speedwell Flowers in Christianity

Speedwell’s association with Christianity comes from its genus name Veronica. This links the plant to Saint Veronica. She was one of the women who traveled with Jesus to Mount Calvary for the crucifixion. She wore a veil and gave it to Jesus when he needed to wipe his face while carrying the heavy cross. When he gave her the cloth back, it miraculously displayed a vision of his face. It became a relic of the early church. 

The flower became associated with this story because the bright blue flowers of many Veronica species were associated with the eyes of Jesus. This gave the humble and common flower the meaning of protection, healing, joyfulness, and support. 

Christians commonly use Speedwell as a symbolic gift for encouraging fellow believers to hold fast to their faith in Christ, just like Veronica did during the difficult journey of the crucifixion.

Speedwell Flowers in Ancient Rome 

In Ancient Rome, Speedwell wasn’t associated with a specific myth or deity like many other blossoms. Instead, it was regarded as a general cure-all and miracle-healing herb. 

The Romans most likely learned about the medicinal value of the plant from the Teutons as they conquered the European territories where wide varieties are native. 

While Speedwell isn’t quite the cure-all that it was once believed to be, the symbolic meaning of healing and hope remains in use today. Victorians also used Speedwell to symbolize success or victory.

Suitable Gifting Occasions

A floral arrangement of speedwell flowers composed on a white table

Speedwell flowers are most often included in “Get Well Soon” bouquets due to their long association with the meaning of healing. It’s also a good choice for weddings and graduations where a new beginning is imminent.

Wrap Up

Speedwell is easy to add to almost any garden thanks to its drought resistance and tolerance of poor soil. Add it to your landscape for a nearly year-round source of beautiful flowers full of meaning.

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