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Veronicastrum virginicum (Culver's root) | NPIN
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Veronicastrum virginicum (Culver's root)
Bruso, George H.

Veronicastrum virginicum

Veronicastrum virginicum (L.) Farw.

Culver's root

Scrophulariaceae (Figwort Family)

Synonym(s): Leptandra virginica, Veronica virginica

USDA Symbol: VEVI4

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

The unbranched stems of Culver’s-root grow 2-6 ft. tall and are topped by several spikes of densely-clustered, tiny, white flowers. The total effect is candelabra-like. Narrowly oval, dark-green leaves are arranged in whorls around the stem. The common name was to honour Dr. Culver who prescribed the plant as an effective laxative. (Lamb/Rhynard) Dense, narrow, cylindrical, spike-like clusters of small, white, tubular flowers are at the top of an erect stem over whorled leaves.

The genus name, a combination of Veronica and the suffix astrum (false), describes this plants resemblance to the Veronicas. It is the only species in the genus. It can be grown easily in wildflower gardens. The root contains a powerful emetic and cathartic.

 

Plant Characteristics

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

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White , Pink , Blue
Bloom Time: Jul , Aug , Sep

Distribution

USA: AL , AR , CT , DC , DE , FL , GA , IA , IL , IN , KS , KY , LA , MA , MD , ME , MI , MN , MO , MS , NC , ND , NE , NJ , NY , OH , OK , PA , SC , SD , TN , TX , VA , VT , WI , WV
Canada: MB , ON
Native Distribution: VT to Ont., s. to GA, LA & OK
Native Habitat: Moist prairies; woods; stream banks

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
Soil pH: Acidic (pH<6.8)
Soil Description: Moist, rich soils.
Conditions Comments: Very adaptable in the garden; try it at the woodland edge.

Benefit

Use Wildlife: Butterflies, Bees
Use Medicinal: The root contains a powerful emetic and cathartic. (Niering)
Conspicuous Flowers: yes

Value to Beneficial Insects

Special Value to Native Bees
Special Value to Honey Bees
Supports Conservation Biological Control

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

Propagation

Description: Most easily propagated by root divisions in late fall or early spring. Each rootstock segment must have a bud. Sow seeds in fall or provide cold stratification. Also propagated by softwood cuttings taken in late spring.
Seed Collection: Seeds can be allowed to dry out before sowing.
Seed Treatment: Seeds of this species require or benefit from a three month period of cold-moist stratification. Seeds require light to germinate.
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: FACW FACU FAC FAC 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:

Edge of the Woods Native Plant Nursery - Orefield, PA
Sunshine Farm & Gardens - Renick, WV
Enchanter's Garden - Hinton, WV
Ohio Prairie Nursery - Hiram, OH
American Native Nursery - Quakertown, PA
Toadshade Wildflower Farm - Frenchtown, NJ
Prairie Nursery - Westfield, WI

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
Delaware Nature Society - Hockessin, DE
Longwood Gardens - Newark, DE
Native Seed Network - Corvallis, OR
Mt. Cuba Center - Hockessin, DE
* Available Online from Wildflower Center Store

Bibliography

Bibref 928 - 100 easy-to-grow native plants for Canadian gardens (2005) Johnson, L.; A. Leyerle
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.
Bibref 1262 - Plants of Carolinian Canada (1994) Lamb, Larry and Gail Rhynard
* 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

From the Archive

Wildflower Newsletter 1996 VOL. 13, NO.4 - The Worth of a Native Plant, Pros and Cons of Using Rare Native Plants, Educatio...

Additional resources

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

Metadata

Record Modified: 2012-12-09
Research By: TWC Staff

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