Blue Vervain - Simpler's Joy - Wild Hyssop
Verbena Hastata Linnaeus
Verbenaceae (Vervain) Family

 

 Plant is a slender, but erect, herbaceous perennial plant that is up to 5' tall. It branches occasionally along the upper half of its length. The green to reddish stems are four-angled, often with white appressed hairs. Its preferred habitat is open woods and meadows, roadsides and the margins of yards. Distribution in the Escambia region is throughout.

The leaves are opposite on the stem and up to 6 inches long and 1 inch across. They are lance-like, conspicuously veined, and their petioles (leaf stalks) are short. Leaf margins are coarsely serrated.

The flowers are panicles of spikes up to 1 foot long and about 1/2 as much across. Individual floral spikes are up to 5 inches long, and densely crowded with numerous blue-violet flowers. Individual flowers are up to ¼ inch long and similarly across. The corolla is blue-violet with 5 spreading lobes, a short-tubular calyx with 5 narrow teeth, 4 stamens, and 1 pistil; calyx is grayish green to dark red and about 1/2 as long as the corolla. The blooming period occurs from mid- to late summer, lasting about 1 to 2 months.

Fruit is a small nutlet (4 nutlets per flower). The nutlets are up to 2 mm. long, reddish brown, and oblongoid in shape.

The root system is fibrous and rhizomatous. Small clonal colonies of plants are often produced from the rhizomes.

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