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VERBENA hastata

Image of Verbena hastata

Jesse Saylor

Family

Verbenaceae

Botanical Name

VERBENA hastata

Plant Common Name

Swamp Verbena

General Description

The tall stems of this hardy herbaceous perennial are topped by branching, candelabra-like clusters of violet-blue to lavender-pink flowers from summer until fall. Swamp vervain is native to damp meadows and prairies across most of the United States and southern Canada.

The erect, waist- to shoulder-high stems are furnished with pairs of rough, toothed, lance-shaped leaves. The lower leaves are larger and sometimes arrowhead-shaped. In early summer, branching flower clusters terminating in slender foxtail-shaped spikes develop from the axils of the upper leaves. The small, two-lipped flowers open successively from the base of the continually elongating spikes. Butterflies and bees flock to the blooms. The flowers are followed by small round capsules that release numerous seeds, with new plants often resulting.

Swamp vervain thrives in full sun and moist, fertile soil, but is adaptable to other conditions. It works well in naturalistic plantings of perennials and grasses.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    9 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    3 - 9

  • Plant Type

    Perennial

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun

  • Height

    3'-5' / 0.9m - 1.5m

  • Width

    18"-24" / 45.7cm - 61.0cm

  • Bloom Time

    Early Summer, Summer, Late Summer, Early Fall

  • Native To

    Northeastern United States, Mid-Atlantic United States, Southeastern United States, Central United States, Western United States, Canada, Southern Europe

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Average

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Wet Site

  • Growth Rate

    Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Upright/Erect

  • Seasonal Interest

    Summer, Fall

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Purple, Pink, Lavender, Blue Violet

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    Yes

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Cutflower, Mixed Border, Wildflower

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    Sometimes

  • Attracts

    Butterflies

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes