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Verbena hastata

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Plant types and subtypes: Perennials, Biennials

Light Requirements: sun, part-sun

Water Use: medium

Soil Moisture: moist, wet

Soil Description: average, loam, clay

Height: 3'-6'

Bloom Time: June, July, August, September, October

Bloom Color: violet, purple, blue

Leaf Color: green

Hardiness Zone: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

Additional Tags: attracts bees, attracts birds, attracts butterflies, clumping, colonizing, cottage garden plant, medicinal, naturalizing, ornamental foliage, pond margin plant, stream margin plant, wetland plant

Flowers of Verbena hastata (swamp verbena)
  • Flowers of Verbena hastata (swamp verbena)
  • Flowers of Verbena hastata (swamp verbena)
  • Flowers of Verbena hastata (swamp verbena)
  • Foliage of  of Verbena hastata (swamp verbena)

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Description

Verbena hastata

Also known as:

swamp verbena

,

blue vervain

,

blue verbena

,

American blue vervain

,

Simpler's-joy

Scientific Synonyms:

Description

Verbena hastata is a robust plant with tall, erect stems growing typically to a height of 4' and occasionally up to 6'. The greenish, reddish stems are four-sided and often hairy. They typically branch up top, forming a candelabra of 6" long flower spikes. The individual flowers are small, 5 lobed, and tubular. they may range in color from pale blue to violet, and will bloom starting at the base of the spike moving upwards over a period of 2 months. Swamp vervain has visually interesting foliage made up of 6" long, elongated, serrated, occasionally hairy, lance-shaped leaves.

Cultivation

Though individual plants a short lived (biennial), they spread by rhizomes and will maintain a perennial presence. Verbena hastata is a moisture loving plant that can easily adapt to dryer garden conditions in rich, loamy soil. It is typically found in low woods, wet prairies, wet meadows and along streams. It will not tolerate standing water but can withstand irregular, seasonal inundation. Plants will perform best in full or part-sun. Swamp vervain will slowly colonize via its fibrous, rhizomatous roots, and under ideal conditions will naturalize from seed. Individual flower spikes will remain in bloom for up to 2 months, between June and October. A hardy species: zones 3-8.

Propagation

Propagate from seed. Stored seeds will require a 30 day period of cold-moist stratification before sowing.

Additional Notes

Verbena hastata flowers are attractive to nectar loving insects, while the seeds are attractive to many species of birds. Verbena is a large family that includes biennials, perennials, shrubs and trees. It owes its name to Latin meaning "sacred". It has long been considered a panacea, with medicinal applications including treatments for ulcers, acne, coughs, fevers, headaches, cramps and even depression.

Native Range & Classification

Recorded County Distribution: USDA data

Native Range:
AL, AR, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, MT, NC, ND, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NV, NY, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, VT, WA, WI, WV, WY

Classification

Kingdom Plantae Plants
Subkingdom Tracheobionta Vascular plants
Superdivision Spermatophyta Seed plants
Division Magnoliophyta Flowering plants
Class Magnoliopsida Dicotyledons
Subclass Arecidae
Order Lamiales
Family Verbenaceae Verbena family
Genus Verbena vervain
Species Verbena hastata swamp verbena