What is Purslane Speedwell and How Do I Control It?

The following picture was received last week for identification. 


If you have seen this weed and not sure what it is, it is  purslane speedwell (Veronica peregrina L.).  It is a member of Figwort family (another weed from this family is yellow toadflax).

Purslane speedwell characteristics:

  • annual weed 
  • reproduces only by seed
  • Stems are erect and much branched at the base
  • stems have fleshy texture and fine sticky hairs
  • leaves also have fleshy texture
  • flowers are small 4 lobed and whitish in color
  • the plant flowers from mid-May to July 


Purslane speedwell has been found at some locations in Manitoba and more commonly in winter cereals. It is also found in gardens, lawns, roadsides and other non-agricultural areas.


Unfortunately there is not much information available to control this weed. The USDA Weed Control Compendium mentions poor control from the commonly used group 4 herbicides like 2,4-D, MCPA, Dicamba, etc. No information regarding the efficacy of glyphosate on this weed. The other tough to control weeds in the Figwort family include Dalmatian and yellow toadflax and common mullein.


Submitted by Nasir Shaikh, MAFRD Weed Specialist

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