Verbena tenuisecta Briquet - Moss Verbena, South American Mock Vervain

Verbena tenuisecta plant

Family - Verbenaceae

Stems:

Verbena tenuisecta stem

Leaves:

Verbena tenuisecta leaves

Inflorescence:

Verbena tenuisecta inflorescence

Flowers:

Verbena tenuisecta calyxCalyx.

Verbena tenuisecta flower

Verbena tenuisecta whiteWhite flowered form.

Flowering - February - October.

Habitat - Disturbed sites, roadsides, railroads.

Origin - Native to South America.

Other information - This attractive species can be found scattered throughout southern Alabama but has rarely been reported in vouchers. The author has found it growing in the counties shown below. The plant can be identified by its finely divided leaves and big blue-purple flowers. The plant has a repent habit with ascending inflorescences.
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 tenuisecta derives from the Latin "tenu(i)" meaning "thin, slender" and "sect" meaning "cut" referring to the bipinnatifid leaves.
A more modern synonym is Glandularia pulchella (Sweet) Tronc.

Alabama Distribution:

Verbena tenuisecta map

Photographs taken off Hwy 29, Pike County, MO., 2-26-05.


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