Allioni’s Veronica (Veronica allionii Vill.) is a herbaceous species belonging to the Scrophulariaceae family.
From a systematic point of view it belongs to:
Species V. allionii.
The term is synonymous:
– Veronica pyrenaica All ..
The term Veronica is of uncertain etymology; Linnaeus took its name from the botanists of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, who in turn took it from common names, such as fr. véronique (1545); the oldest attestation seems to date back to a Swiss pharmacopoeia (15th century). The most common explanation links the name to the legend of Veronica, that is the pious woman who during the ascent to Calvary cleaned the face of Christ with a handkerchief, on which her image remained imprinted (Veronica is both the name of the woman, an adaptation of the Greek Berenice, both the relic, by assonance with true icon, true image); the link would be given either by the flowering period of various species, around Holy Week, or by the darker veins of the corolla that may suggest a face. The connection with the Italian mystic Santa Veronica da Binasco (1445-1497) is less frequent. A derivation from Betonica has also been proposed, based on a passage by J. Bauhin (Veronica Foemina quibusdam, aliis Betonica), which is not very convincing on a linguistic level. Genaust, with extreme reserve, puts forward a possible connection with the High German wernickel, wernichel sty based on the use of V. chamaedrys to treat eye diseases.
The specific allionii epithet was dedicated in honor of Carlo Allioni (1728-1804), Turin botanist author of a fundamental Flora Pedemontana.
Geographic Distribution and Habitat –
Veronica allionii is a plant of Europe and endemic to the Western Alps.
In Italy it is present in Liguria, Piedmont and Valle d’Aosta.
Its habitat is that of subalpine pastures, preferably on silica, between 1400 and 2900 meters above sea level.
Veronica allionii is a perennial and tomentose herbaceous plant, up to 15 cm tall, with a woody stem at the base, rooting at the nodes and prostrate in the initial part.
The leaves are opposite and variable in shape, round or oval, leathery, with a velvety surface due to the presence of short glandular hairs, an entire or finely indented leaf margin and a very short petiole.
The flowers are sub sessile, collected in thickened racemes of 30-60 flowers, carried by an elongated peduncle at the end of the stems; corolla with a diameter of 8-12 mm, of a luminous light blue or violet color, with a rotated tube base and 4 unequal lobes; calyx with 5 sepals much shorter than the corolla; 2 protruding stamens with anthers inserted on the back; bilocular ovary and filiform style.
The anthesis is between July and August.
The fruit is a roundish-obcordata or triangular-obcordate capsule of 3-4 x 2-3 mm, with acute inlet, puberulous and stylus of 4-6 mm, seeds with oval or subspherical section of about 0.5-1 mm, yellowish brown.
Veronica allionii is a plant that grows in its natural state in an area of Europe including the Western Alps and which is collected and used for medicinal and food purposes.
It grows on alpine pastures, preferably on siliceous substrate, from 1400 to 2900 meters.
The plant can be grown in similar pedoclimatic conditions and propagates by seed.
Customs and Traditions –
Allioni’s Veronica or The mountain is a plant similar to Veronica officinalis from which it is distinguished by the ciliated leaves on the edges and subglabrous on the two pages.
This plant is used in the kitchen as an alternative to tea. It has a stimulating effect on the appetite, promotes digestion and is useful in case of coughs and colds. It has an astringent power and can also be used in case of mouth and throat irritations.
The pharmaceutical properties are to be explored. In the past, perhaps excessive properties have been attributed to it (eg: against cough, asthma, liver disease, etc …), while today it is to be seen as a good herbal tea, an original alternative to tea. It stimulates the appetite, promotes digestion, has a mild purifying action, but above all it is beneficial in case of coughs and colds.
In general it has purifying, calming and digestive properties.
Preparation Method –
Veronica allionii is a plant that is used in the territories where it grows as endemic.
The drug used is the aerial part of the plant and is used for various medicinal purposes, such as herbal tea, or in the kitchen as an alternative to the common The.
– Acta Plantarum – Flora of the Italian Regions.
– Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
– GBIF, the Global Biodiversity Information Facility.
– Useful Tropical Plants Database.
– Conti F., Abbate G., Alessandrini A., Blasi C. (ed.), 2005. An annotated checklist of the Italian vascular flora, Palombi Editore.
– Pignatti S., 1982. Flora of Italy, Edagricole, Bologna.
– Treben M., 2000. Health from the Lord’s Pharmacy, Advice and experiences with medicinal herbs, Ennsthaler Editore.
Warning: Pharmaceutical applications and alimurgical uses are indicated for informational purposes only, they do not represent in any way a medical prescription; therefore no responsibility is taken for their use for curative, aesthetic or food purposes.