Brooklime

©Richard Burkmarr

Brooklime

Scientific name: Veronica beccabunga
A fleshy herb of the wet margins of brooks, streams and ditches, Brooklime can be seen all year-round and provides shelter for tadpoles and sticklebacks.

Species information

Statistics

Height: up to 30cm

Conservation status

Common.

When to see

January to December

About

As its name suggests, Brooklime is a fleshy, succulent herb that grows in the wet margins of brooks, streams and ditches, and also in very damp soil. It is in bloom between May and September, producing spikes of bright blue flowers, but its leaves can persist all year-round. It is an ideal plant for wildlife pond margins as it is easy to control and provides cover for tadpoles and sticklebacks.

How to identify

Brooklime has large, rounded leaves, and thick, juicy stems that are both creeping and upright. Its blue (sometimes pink) flowers are borne on the stems in pairs and are very small.

Distribution

Widespread.

Did you know?

The fleshy leaves of Brooklime are edible, but very bitter. Like Water-cress, it was traditionally used in salads across northern Europe, and was thought to prevent scurvy.

How people can help

The Wildlife Trusts manage many wetland nature reserves for the benefit of the wildlife they support. You can help by supporting your local Trust and becoming a member; you'll find out about exciting wildlife news, events on your doorstep and volunteering opportunities, and will be helping local wildlife along the way.