Veronicastrum Species, Bowman's Root, Culver's Root, Blackroot, Great Virginian Speedwell

Veronicastrum virginicum

Family: Plantaginaceae
Genus: Veronicastrum (ver-on-ee-KAS-trum) (Info)
Species: virginicum (vir-JIN-ih-kum) (Info)
Synonym:Veronica virginica




Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)


18-24 in. (45-60 cm)


USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)

USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

Where to Grow:

Grow outdoors year-round in hardiness zone



Bloom Color:

Medium Purple

White/Near White

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)

Seed Collecting:

Unknown - Tell us


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Ketchikan, Alaska

Mud Bay, Alaska

Saxman, Alaska

Fayetteville, Arkansas

Kiowa, Colorado

Lula, Georgia

Anna, Illinois

Aurora, Illinois

Hanna City, Illinois

Washington, Illinois

Waukegan, Illinois

Anderson, Indiana

Greenville, Indiana

Iowa City, Iowa

West Buxton, Maine

Riverdale, Maryland

Rohrersville, Maryland

Garden City, Michigan

Mendon, Michigan

Redford, Michigan

West Olive, Michigan

Brewster, Minnesota

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Rochester, Minnesota

Lincoln, Nebraska

Frenchtown, New Jersey

Neptune, New Jersey

Colden, New York

Kerhonkson, New York

Pittsford, New York

Boone, North Carolina

Durham, North Carolina

Columbus, Ohio

Wadsworth, Ohio

Beaverton, Oregon(12 reports)

Downingtown, Pennsylvania

Doylestown, Pennsylvania

Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania

Cranston, Rhode Island

Burns, Tennessee

Arlington, Virginia

Charlottesville, Virginia

Leesburg, Virginia

Roanoke, Virginia

Vienna, Virginia

Olympia, Washington

Sammamish, Washington

Westfield, Wisconsin

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Nov 23, 2021, JennysGarden_TN from Collierville, TN wrote:

Received some roots from a trade from Chris. Hope they grow well in my zone 7b garden.


On Apr 3, 2016, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

A fine architectural perennial.

In my experience, this plant needs regular irrigation here (Boston, MA). It is one of the least drought tolerant plants I've grown, and it certainly isn't suitable for xeriscaping. In the wild, it grows in moist places, and unlike most veronicas it isn't picky about drainage.


On Feb 9, 2014, Rickwebb from Downingtown, PA wrote:

This native to eastern North America is a handsome, clean, neat, easy, and reliable perennial that is upright in habit. When plants become old, large clumps, they can fall over some. It is easy to dig, transplant, and divide. Its white multiple spike flowers clusters bloom about 2 to 3 weeks in late June and July here in se PA and July and/or August farther north and are loved by a good number of pollinating insects. My plant in part shade has stayed about 3 feet high and kept a good habit for 12 years. My bigger specimens in full sun in the backyard could use dividing now after 12 years.


On Jul 8, 2012, patriciaarln from Arlington, VA wrote:

I planted Culver's root because I wanted a native plant that would attract native bees. I have two types - both are tall plants with spiky flowers, one white, the other a lovely soft lavender. The bees love them - especially bumblebees. The blooms are ending now, in early July but they lasted a good month. Very nice back of the border plant.


On Feb 28, 2012, Gabrielle from (Zone 5a) wrote:

Does amazingly well in an amazingly difficult area ... by the fence where the neighbor's greedy maple tree shades. Mostly clay, some sand. Blooms June - September in my garden.


On Jul 29, 2011, SALLYSWIMS22 from Mendon, MI wrote:

I found this pretty plant growing on my property along the St. Joseph river. It has been left growing wild there and comes back every year amongst the green briar, blue flag, poison ivy and other plants that were here when we moved to this house. I have planted hostas, foam flour, and a few other things on the same river bank and just let them grow. We don't try to keep this bank "cultivated"and just thin things out occasionally. This plant does not seem to be invasive. It pokes its sweet, delicate spikes high and adds a bright freshness to the foliage. I enjoy finding little natural treasures like this. I have read that it is "alien" though.


On Jun 7, 2011, cedar18 from Lula, GA (Zone 7b) wrote:

For me, the species is not as robust as 'Lavender Towers,' although it is still a very good performer. It gets 6 ft + tall and is in full bloom in early June. I had a volunteer seedling this year about 12 ft from the mother plant (and across a gravel path). I imagine it happened when I cut down the spent stalks and they flopped around the garden. It's a very nice back-of-the-border plant.


On Jul 22, 2008, crockny from Kerhonkson, NY (Zone 5a) wrote:

Mine is at least 6 feet high if not higher in acid clay soil in zone 5a ... it's huge! Beloved of bees ...


On Aug 12, 2002, lupinelover from Grove City, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:

This plant thrives in drought conditions as well as very moist. Rich fertile soil makes the stems weak, making it more suitable to poor ground. Very long bloom season.


On Jan 8, 2001, jody from MD &, VA (Zone 7b) wrote:

Veronicastrum only has 2 species, both perennial herbs closely related to Veronica. Native to USA. It used to be used medicinally but now grown as ornamentals only. It grows to 5' high with slender stems and lance shaped serrated leaves. Flowers are tubular, purpleish blue or white and bloom in summer. Best cultivated in moist soil. Full sun to part shade. Hardy zones 3-9. Propagate from seed or by division.