Verbena hastata L. - Blue Vervain


 

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Verbena hastata - (image 1 of 7)

 

Taxonomy

Family: Verbenaceae

 

Can hybridize with V. simplex Lehm. (V. x blachardii Moldenke) and with V. stricta Vent. (V. x rydbergii Moldenke)

Habitat

Common in marshy ground and in moist meadows, prairies, and swamps.

Associates

 

 Distribution

Nova Scotia west to British Columbia, south FL to AZ.

Morphology

Herbaceous perennial to 1.5 m. Stems branching, with short, coarse hairs. Leaves lanceolate to lance-oblong or lance-ovate, to 18 cm, long acuminate, petiolate, coarsely serrate, often hastate (3-lobed at the base), glabrous or with short appressed hairs on both sides. Flowers in strict (straight and upright), short and compact spikes, usually many in a terminal panicle; bracts lance-subulate, often a little shorter than the calyx; calyx 2.5-3 mm, hairy, with more or less connivent lobes; corolla blue-purple, the tube a little longer than the calyx, hairy, 2.5-4.5 mm wide. Fruit a linear nutlet 1.5-2 mm, faintly striate or smooth.

Notes

Flowers late June to mid September

Wetland indicator: Facultative Wetland +

The seeds of this plant are edible but rather bitter and can be ground into flour. Soaking in cold water is said to reduce the bitterness somewhat.

References

Gleason, Henry A. and A. Cronquist. 1991. Manual of Vascular Plants of Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada. Second Ed.
The New York Botanical Garden. Bronx, NY

 

Peterson, L. A. 1977. A Field Guide to Edible Wild Plants: Eastern and central North America.

Houghton Mifflin Company. New York, NY

 

Swink, F. and G. Wilhelm. 1994. Plants of the Chicago Region.
Indiana Academy of Science. The Morton Arboretum. Lisle, Illinois.

 


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 Michael Hough 2005