Verbena bonariensis L. - Purpletop Vervain

Verbena bonariensis plant

Family - Verbenaceae

Stems:

Verbena bonariensis stem

Leaves:

Verbena bonariensis leafVerbena bonariensis leaf

Inflorescence:

Verbena bonariensis inflorescence

Flowers:

Verbena bonariensis flowers

Flowering - April - October.

Habitat - Disturbed sites, waste places, roadsides, old homesites. Escaped from cultivation.

Origin - Native to tropical America.

Other information - This attractive yet weedy species can be found scattered throughout much of Alabama. The plant can be identified by its tall, hairy, 4-angled stems, thin, scabrous leaves, and capitate clusters of tiny purple flowers. This species is a favorite for butterfly gardeners.
The genus name Verbena is of an obscure derivation but is used to describe any plant used as a healing or sacred herb. The stems of Verbenas were made into wreaths for ritual and healing.
The species epithet bonariensis means "of Buenos Aires" from the Latin "ens(e)(is)" meaning "of, belonging to" for the plants tropical origin.

Alabama Distribution:

Verbena bonariensis map

Photographs taken in Athens, GA., 5-29-05.


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