Verbena stricta (Hoary Vervain)

Plant Info
Also known as: Hoary Verbena
Genus:Verbena
Family:Verbenaceae (Verbena)
Life cycle:perennial
Origin:native
Habitat:sun; dry; fields, prairies, along roads
Bloom season:June - September
Plant height:1 to 3 feet

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Detailed Information

Flower: Flower shape: 5-petals Cluster type: spike

[photo of flower] Densely packed spike clusters of ½-inch purple to blue-violet flowers, sometimes rose pink or white. Each flower has 5 petals fused at the base. The flowers bloom from the bottom of the spike up.

Leaves and stem: Leaf attachment: opposite Leaf type: simple

[photo of leaves] Coarsely toothed leaves 2 to 3 inches long covered with dense hairs, generally oval and pointed on both ends; opposite attachment at the stem with no leaf stem. The main stem is square and may be a reddish color. Leaf color may be yellowish green.

Notes:

Hoary Vervain tends to grow in clumps. It might be confused with Blue Vervain, but Blue Vervain has smaller flowers, its leaves are long and narrow rather than oval, and it prefers moist habitats. The square stem and opposite leaves may also confuse Hoary Vervain with a member of the Mint family.

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More photos

Photos taken at Long Lake Regional Park, New Brighton, MN, and Wild River State Park, Center City, MN June-July 2006, July 2007, July 2008

Comments

Have you seen this plant in Minnesota, or have any other comments about it?

Posted by: Juli - Danube, Renville County
on: 2012-06-23 11:48:35

along side of roads

Posted by: somebody - inver grove hts. Dakota County
on: 2012-07-28 11:52:42

Very common pasture weed!

Posted by: Sheila - Lakeville
on: 2013-06-29 21:27:35

I raise it in my prairie in my backyard. I moved it with me when I moved up here from the farm 11 years ago. It really took over when I first moved and I called Prairie Moon (my original source) to find out why. Turns out my prairie wasn't dense enough to keep it from becoming "invasive". I spent the next summer pulling as much of it up as I could. Filled in the prairie with other natives and now it's fairly tame. Of course, if I find it in places where I don't want it I still just yank it. It's not like it's going to disappear. It looks really nice with native yarrow (Achillea), Swamp Milkweed (Asclepsis incarnata) and Cone Flower (Echinacea).

Posted by: Jason - Blue Earth and Nicollet Counties
on: 2013-07-28 22:33:12

Roadsides, clearings, and short-grass prairies.

Posted by: Susan - Alexandria
on: 2014-07-13 15:11:24

Roadside ditch. Not abundant here.

Posted by: Bonnie - Cass County near Pine River
on: 2014-08-08 07:52:17

Grows well in the gravelly soils of our prairie.

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