One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A speedwell with smooth, fleshy leaves and deep blue flowers on long stalks. It grows in wet areas, where the stems take root or float in the water.
Genus Veronica, family Scrophulariaceae: several species, in particular V. beccabunga of Eurasia and the American brooklime (V. americana)
- ‘He treated his scorbutic patients with a mixture of plant and vegetable juices made from water cress, brooklime, scurvy grass, all herbs rich in ascorbic acid.’
- ‘An attractive native speedwell, brooklime will grow profusely and happily in garden ponds.’
- ‘In and alongside the stream, a different suite of plants can be found including yellow iris, hemlock water-dropwort, lesser spearwort and brooklime.’
- ‘Various other plants which are sometimes referred to as watercress or mixed with it or treated in the same ways include brooklime, Veronica beccabunga.’
Middle English broklemok, from brook + hleomoce, the name of the plant in Old English.
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