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Verbena hastata

Verbena hastata L.

 

Blue Vervain, Blue Verbena, Swamp Vervain, Simpler’s Joy, Common Verbena

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionMagnoliophytaFlowering plants, also known as angiosperms
ClassMagnoliopsidaDicotyledons—plants with two initial seed leaves
SubclassAsteridaeA large class that encompasses asters
OrderLamialesAromatic herbs and shrubs, including lavender, lilac, olive, jasmine, ash, teak, snapdragon, sesame, psyllium, garden sage, mint, basil, and rosemary
FamilyVerbenaceaeVerbena (vervain) family, about 3,000 species
GenusVerbenaFrom the word meaning “vervain”
Specieshastata“Spear-shaped”

About plant names...

Blue vervain is native to eastern North America. They have a preference for moist ground. The first time I saw them, I thought I had caught them just beginning to bloom, since only a small portion of each flower stalk was in bloom. But that’s how they operate. Each flower stalk looks a little like a fuse, with a burning blue spark hissing along its length.

Identification: Plants are 24-60" (60-152 cm) high, with stiff red or green stems that are square in cross-section and sometimes coated with fine white hairs. They have opposite leaves up to 6" (15 cm) × 1" (2.5 cm), serrated with teeth that vary in size. On the upper half of the plant, the stem branches into several stiff spikes up to 5" (12 cm) long, with attractive blue-purple flowers. Individual flowers are less than ¼" (6.3 mm) around, with five petals. Blooming begins at the bottom of each spike, moving upward as a ring of flowers. Flowers appear from July to September. Fruits are four long, narrow nutlets that separate.

Online References:

Verbena hastata on Missouriplants.com

Verbena hastata at Illinois Wildflowers

Verbena hastata at the University of Wisconsin's Robert W. Freckmann Herbarium

Verbena hastata at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

Verbena hastata on the USDA Plants Database

Verbena hastata at the Missouri Botanical Garden

Verbena hastata from the Jepson Manual

Verbena hastata (Blue Vervain, Blue Verbena, Swamp Vervain, Simpler’s Joy, Common Verbena)

8/21/2013 · Rte 119, Groton, MA
≈ 9 × 6" (22 × 15 cm)

Verbena hastata (Blue Vervain, Blue Verbena, Swamp Vervain, Simpler’s Joy, Common Verbena)

8/21/2013 · Rte 119, Groton, MA
≈ 8 × 6" (20 × 14 cm)

Verbena hastata (Blue Vervain, Blue Verbena, Swamp Vervain, Simpler’s Joy, Common Verbena)

7/24/2010 · Acton Arboretum, Acton, MA
≈ 15 × 10" (39 × 26 cm)

Verbena hastata (Blue Vervain, Blue Verbena, Swamp Vervain, Simpler’s Joy, Common Verbena)

8/21/2013 · Rte 119, Groton, MA
≈ 6 × 9" (16 × 23 cm)

Verbena hastata (Blue Vervain, Blue Verbena, Swamp Vervain, Simpler’s Joy, Common Verbena)

8/21/2013 · Rte 119, Groton, MA
≈ 9 × 6" (23 × 16 cm)

Verbena hastata (Blue Vervain, Blue Verbena, Swamp Vervain, Simpler’s Joy, Common Verbena)

7/24/2017 · WV

Verbena hastata description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 24 Jul 2017.

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Verbena hastata (Blue Vervain, Blue Verbena, Swamp Vervain, Simpler’s Joy, Common Verbena)

7/17/2010 · Maine Turnpike, Exit 25, Kennebunk, ME
≈ 8 × 12" (20 × 31 cm)

Verbena hastata (Blue Vervain, Blue Verbena, Swamp Vervain, Simpler’s Joy, Common Verbena)

7/17/2010 · Maine Turnpike, Exit 25, Kennebunk, ME
≈ 7 × 4½" (17 × 11 cm)

Verbena hastata (Blue Vervain, Blue Verbena, Swamp Vervain, Simpler’s Joy, Common Verbena)

8/21/2013 · Rte 119, Groton, MA
≈ 6 × 9" (16 × 23 cm)

Verbena hastata (Blue Vervain, Blue Verbena, Swamp Vervain, Simpler’s Joy, Common Verbena)

7/17/2010 · Maine Turnpike, Exit 25, Kennebunk, ME
≈ 8 × 5" (19 × 13 cm)

Verbena hastata (Blue Vervain, Blue Verbena, Swamp Vervain, Simpler’s Joy, Common Verbena)

7/24/2017 · WV

Verbena hastata (Blue Vervain, Blue Verbena, Swamp Vervain, Simpler’s Joy, Common Verbena)

8/21/2013 · Rte 119, Groton, MA
≈ 4 × 6" (10 × 16 cm)

Verbena hastata (Blue Vervain, Blue Verbena, Swamp Vervain, Simpler’s Joy, Common Verbena)

7/17/2010 · Maine Turnpike, Exit 25, Kennebunk, ME
≈ 11 × 7" (27 × 18 cm)

Verbena hastata (Blue Vervain, Blue Verbena, Swamp Vervain, Simpler’s Joy, Common Verbena)

7/24/2017 · WV

Range: Zones 3-8:

About this map...