Blue Vervain (Verbena hastata)

Verbena-hastata-2013-08-14-Schenley-Park-01The tiny flowers of this cheerful plant make a fine display—not too ostentatious, but elegant and striking. This one was growing in a field in Schenley Park, where it was blooming in the middle of August.

More pictures of this species are here, where you will also find quite a bit of lore taken from old books.

Gray describes the genus and the species:

VERBENA [Tourn.] L. VERVAIN. Calyx 5-toothed, one of the teeth often shorter than the others. Corolla tubular, often curved, salver-form; the border somewhat unequally 5-cleft. Stamens included, the upper pair occasionally without anthers. Style slender; stigma mostly 2-lobed. — Flowers sessile, in single or often panicled spikes, bracted, produced all summer. (The Latin name for any sacred herb; derivation obscure.) — The species present numerous spontaneous hybrids.

§ 1. Anthers not appendaged; flowers small, in slender spikes.

Spikes thicker or densely flowered; the fruits crowded, mostly overlapping one another; bracts inconspicuous, not exceeding the flowers; perennial.

V. hastàta L. (blue V.) Tall (0.5-2 m. high); leaves lanceolate or oblong-lanceolate, taper-pointed, cut-serrate, petioled, the lower often lobed and sometimes halberd-shaped at base; spikes linear, erect,corymbed or panicled; flowers violet-blue (rarely pink or white). —Damp grounds, etc.


2 responses to “Blue Vervain (Verbena hastata)”

  1. I am writing a field guide to the wildflowers of Georgia (US) and would like to include an image of Verbena urticifolia. I came across your image at I wonder if you would be willing to donate a high resolution version of the image for this one-time use in the wildflower guide? The guide will be published by the University of Georgia Press in 2016. All royalties will be used to support the Plant Conservation Program at the State Botanical Garden of Georgia [].

    We don’t have a budget for photos and are depending on donations of images, which of course will be credited to the photographer. You would retain all rights to the image. I would be grateful for your help. Thanks for considering. Linda Chafin

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