Verbena hastata L.
Swamp verbena, Blue verbena, Blue vervain, Simpler's joy
Verbenaceae (Verbena Family)
Simplerís-joy or blue verbena is a 2-5 ft., stout-stemmed perennial
with numerous, pencil-like flower spikes branched upwards like the arms of a candelabra. Each flower spike
has a ring of blue-purple flowers; the flowers at the bottom of the spike
bloom first, and the ring of flowers appears to advance upward to the tips of the spike. Stiff, pencil-like spikes of numerous small, tubular, blue-violet flowers are at the top of a square, grooved stem
and its branches. An attractive perennial,
it has flowers on showy candelabra-like spikes. Bumblebees are among the important pollinators. In ancient times the plant was thought to be a cure-all among medicinal plants and the genus
name is Latin for sacred plant. Hoary Vervain (V. stricta
), to 10 feet (3 m) tall and with flowers 1/2 (1.3 cm) long, is most abundant in the Midwest and occurs sporadically eastward. Narrow-leaved Vervain (V. simplex
), has narrow leaves and lavender flowers 1/3 (8 mm) long; it is a southwestern and midwestern species.
This species is a member of the verbena family (family Verbenaceae), which includes about 75 genera and 3,000 species of herbs, shrubs, and trees, mostly of tropical and warm temperate regions. Among them, teak is a highly prized furniture wood, and Vervain, Lantana, Lippia or Frog Fruit,
and Chase Tree
or Vitex are grown as ornamentals.
Image Gallery: 8 photo(s) available
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Biennial Habit: Herb Fruit: Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Blue , Purple
Bloom Time: Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep
AL , AZ , AR , CA , CO , CT , DE , GA , ID , IL , IN , IA , KS , KY , LA , ME , MD , MA , MI , MN , MS , MO , MT , NE , NV , NH , NJ , NM , NY , NC , ND , OH , OK , OR , PA , RI , SC , SD , TN , TX , UT , VT , VA , WA , WV , WI , WY , DC Canada: NB
, QC Native Distribution:
N.S. to B.C., s. to FL, KS, NM & CA Native Habitat:
Moist prairies; damp thickets USDA Native Status: L48(N), CAN(N)
Growing ConditionsLight Requirement: Sun , Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Wet , Moist
Soil Description: Moist soils.
Conditions Comments: Not Available
Attracts bees. Use Medicinal:
This plant has been used for many years as a medicinal herb
for treating convalescents and people suffering from depression, headaches, jaundice, cramps, coughs and fevers. Externally, it has been applied to wounds, ulcers and acne. Swamp vervain can, however, interere with blood pressure medication and hormone therapy, and large doses cause vomiting and diarrhea. (Kershaw) Conspicuous Flowers:
Birds , Butterflies Larval Host:
Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA)
is a larval host and/or nectar source for: