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Bruso, George H.
Veronicastrum virginicum (L.) Farw.
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 CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Herb Flower:
Fruit: Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White , Pink , Blue
Bloom Time: Jul , Aug , Sep
, WV Canada: MB
, ON Native Distribution: VT
to Ont., s. to GA, LA
& OK Native Habitat:
Moist prairies; woods; stream banks
Growing ConditionsLight 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.
BenefitUse Wildlife: Butterflies, Bees
Use Medicinal: The root contains a powerful emetic and cathartic. (Niering)
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
PropagationDescription: 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
National Wetland Indicator Status
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.
Record Last Modified: 2012-12-09
Research By: TWC Staff