Practical ecological knowledge for the temperate reader.

Verbena hastata - Blue Vervain

Family: Verbenaceae (Verbena family) [PFAF]


"Verbena hastata is a PERENNIAL growing to 1.5 m (5ft) by 0.6 m (2ft in). It is hardy to zone (UK) 3. It is in flower from July to August. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Bees, flies, Lepidoptera (Moths & Butterflies). The plant is self-fertile. Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil." [PFAF]

"General: Perennial herb from a short stem-base with fibrous roots; stems erect, solitary, simple, usually bristly or spreading-hairy, 15-150 cm tall." [IFBC-E-flora]

"Habitat / Range Moist to wet ditches, meadows and marshes in the lowland and steppe zones; rare in SW and SC BC; E to PQ and S to IN, MN, IA, TX, NM, AZ and CA." [IFBC-E-flora]

Status: Native [E-flora]

Edible Uses

Medicinal Uses

"The leaves and roots are antiperiodic, diaphoretic, emetic, expectorant, tonic, vermifuge and vulnerary[4, 21, 46, 222]. The roots are more active than the leaves[222]. The plant is used in the treatment of stomach aches, gravel, worms and scrofula[4, 257]. An infusion of the roots, leaves or seeds has been used in the early stages of fevers[257]. A snuff made from the dried flowers has been used to treat nose bleeds[257]." [PFAF]

Cultivation & Propagation

"Succeeds in any moderately fertile well-drained but moisture retentive soil in a sunny position[1, 200]. Plants are hardy to about -20oc[187]." [PFAF]

"Seed - sow early spring in a greenhouse or cold frame and only just cover the seed[1]. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer. Division in spring. Larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found that it is best to pot up smaller divisions and grow them on in light shade in a greenhouse or cold frame until they are growing away well. Plant them out in the summer or the following spring. Basal cuttings in early summer. Harvest the shoots with plenty of underground stem when they are about 8 - 10cm above the ground. Pot them up into individual pots and keep them in light shade in a cold frame or greenhouse until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the summer." [PFAF]


Verbena Sp. - Vervain

"Annual to perennial herb [shrub]. Stem: often 4-angled; hairs generally short, stiff. Leaf: reduced distally on stem; blade entire to pinnately lobed. Inflorescence: spike, often in panicle-like clusters, generally terminal, generally elongated in fruit. Flower: calyx 5-ribbed, 5-toothed, hairs generally strigose or appressed; corolla 4–5-lobed, generally ± radial, sometimes bilateral and 2-lipped; stamens 4; ovary 4-chambered, ovules 4, style 1, lobes 2, 1 tooth-like, 1 with ± spheric stigma. Fruit: nutlets 4, generally oblong.
± 250 species: temperate, tropical America, Mediterranean Europe. (Latin: ancient name)" [Jepson]

Local Species;

  1. Verbena bracteata - bracted vervain [E-flora]
  2. Verbena hastata - Blue Vervain [E-flora]


Page last modified on Thursday, December 31, 2020 1:11 AM