This member of the veronica family grows at high Alpine altitudes on very poor, acidic soil. Veronica bellidioides belongs to the diverse family of plantain plants (Plantaginaceae) but has much more striking flowers than species such as the Common Plantain.
The plant’s lowest leaves are arranged in a rosette and are reminiscent of those of the daisy (Bellis perennis), hence the German names Rosetten-Ehrenpreis and Masslieb-Ehrenpreis, which include versions of the word “daisy”. The plant can grow to 20 cm and produces beautiful, deep blue flowers in July and August.
Facts and Figures
Veronica bellidioides, especially Veronica officinalis, is also a traditional medicinal plant. The German genus name – Ehrenpreis – translates as “honorary prize” and probably refers to the prestige that the plant earned due to its healing properties. The plant was highly honoured and valued.
Veronica bellidioides is widespread on nutrient-deficient soils in Central and Southern Europe. In Switzerland, it is only found in the Alps. On the Gornergrat, the species is often found on ridges with poor soils. more information