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Verbena stricta (Hoary verbena)
Muller, Thomas L.

Verbena stricta

Verbena stricta Vent.

Hoary Verbena, Hoary Vervain, Tall Vervain, Woolly Verbena

Verbenaceae (Verbena Family)



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

The 1-6 ft., hairy stem produces a terminal cluster of narrow, flowering spikes. Small lavender to blue flowers appear in a ring halfway down the ascending spike. A common invader of overgrazed pastures, this plant does not compete well in vigorous stands of native grasses. Seeds are consumed by small mammals and prairie-chickens.

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.


From the Image Gallery

26 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Annual
Habit: Herb
Fruit Type: Schizocarp
Size Notes: Up to about 6 feet tall.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Blue , Purple
Bloom Time: Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep
Bloom Notes: Usually appearing lavender, sometimes bluish.


USA: AL , AR , AZ , CO , CT , DE , GA , IA , ID , IL , IN , KS , KY , MA , MI , MN , MO , MS , MT , NC , ND , NE , NJ , NM , NV , NY , OH , OK , PA , SD , TN , TX , UT , VT , WA , WI , WV , WY
Canada: ON
Native Distribution: Ont. to MN & MT, s. to TX & NM; also n. ID & n.e. WA; naturalized elsewhere
Native Habitat: Fields; prairies

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Dry
Drought Tolerance: High
Soil Description: Sandy soils
Conditions Comments: A common invader of overgrazed pastures, it does not compete well in vigorous stands of native grasses.


Use Wildlife: Hoary vervain seeds are utilized by small mammals and prairie chickens.
Attracts: 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)

Common Buckeye
(Junonia coenia)

Larval Host
Learn more at BAMONA


Description: Plant stratified or unstratified seed.
Seed Treatment: Cold-moist stratification for 2 months.
Commercially Avail: yes

Find Seed or Plants

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

From the National Organizations Directory

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

Native Seed Network - Corvallis, OR


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 293 - Manual of the Vascular Plants of Texas (1979) Correll, D. S. & M. C. Johnston
Bibref 1294 - 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

Web Reference

Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter

Additional resources

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


Record Modified: 2023-03-01
Research By: TWC Staff

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