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Verbena hastata (Swamp verbena) | NPIN
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Verbena hastata (Swamp verbena)
Watkins, Mariann

Verbena hastata

Verbena hastata L.

Swamp verbena, Blue verbena, Blue vervain, Simpler's joy

Verbenaceae (Verbena Family)

Synonym(s):

USDA Symbol: VEHA2

USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)

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-inch (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 of an inch (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.

 

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Biennial
Habit: Herb
Fruit:
Size Class: 3-6 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Blue , Purple
Bloom Time: Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep

Distribution

USA: AL , AR , AZ , CA , CO , CT , DC , DE , 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
Canada: NB , NS , ON , QC
Native Distribution: N.S. to B.C., s. to FL, KS, NM & CA
Native Habitat: Moist prairies; damp thickets

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist , Wet
Soil Description: Moist soils.
Conditions Comments: Not Available

Benefit

Use Wildlife: 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: yes
Attracts: Birds , Butterflies
Larval Host: Common Buckeye

Value to Beneficial Insects

Special Value to Native Bees

This information was provided by the Pollinator Program at The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.

Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA)

Verbena hastata is a larval host and/or nectar source for:
Common Buckeye
(Junonia coenia)

Larval Host
Learn more at BAMONA

Propagation

Description: Propagate from seed.
Seed Collection: Not Available
Seed Treatment: Seed requires cool-moist stratification for 30 days. After stratification, seeds can be incubated at from 60-80 degrees in the presence of light.
Commercially Avail: yes

Find Seed or Plants

Find seed sources for this species at the Native Seed Network.

National Wetland Indicator Status

Region:AGCPAKAWCBEMPGPHIMWNCNEWMVE
Status: FAC FAC FACW FACW FACW FACW FAC
This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1 (Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here for map of regions.

From the National Suppliers Directory

According to the inventory provided by Associate Suppliers, this plant is available at the following locations:

Sunshine Farm & Gardens - Renick, WV
Ohio Prairie Nursery - Hiram, OH

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Native Plant Center at Westchester Community College, The - Valhalla, NY
Native Seed Network - Corvallis, OR
* Available Online from Wildflower Center Store

Bibliography

Bibref 1186 - Field Guide to Moths of Eastern North America (2005) Covell, C.V., Jr.
Bibref 1185 - Field Guide to Western Butterflies (Peterson Field Guides) (1999) Opler, P.A. and A.B. Wright
Bibref 946 - Gardening with Prairie Plants: How to Create Beautiful Native Landscapes (2002) Wasowski, Sally
Bibref 841 - Native Alternatives to Invasive Plants (2006) Burrell, C. C.
* The Midwestern Native Garden: Native Alternatives to Nonnative Flowers and Plants An Illustrated Guide (2011) Adelman, Charlotte and Schwartz, Bernard L.

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Additional resources

USDA: Find Verbena hastata in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Verbena hastata in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Verbena hastata

Metadata

Record Modified: 2013-07-16
Research By: TWC Staff

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