Plant Family Identification - V

(Applies only to those plant families identified within the Wildflowers of Escambia site. When the page has loaded, scroll down to find the general plant family description you seek.)


Verbenaceae (Vervain) -- Herbs, shrubs, or trees usually with flowers in spike-like or branched clusters or in heads.

Stiff Verbena
Verbena rigida


The leaves are opposite on the stem, or whorled. There may be scattered teeth and lobes on some plants. The leaf consists of one whole part. Fruit often separates into 4 hard nutlets, each 1-seeded.

The flowers are bilaterally symmetrical; 5 united sepals, 5 united petals, forming a corolla with a slender tube and an abruptly flared top; stamens are usually 4, attached to the corolla. The corolla is attached at the base of the ovary.

Fruit is schizocarp

There are about 75 genera, and 3,000 species mostly of tropical and warm temperate regions. Teak is a highly prized furniture wood. Vervain, Lantana, Lippia or Frog Fruit, and Chaste Tree (Vitex) are grown as garden ornamental plants.

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Violaceae (Violet) -- Dainty herbs with perky, colorful flowers in the United States, but often shrubby and less showy elsewhere.

Common Violet
Viola floridana

The flowers are bilaterally symmetrical or radially symmetrical. There are 5 separated sepals and 5 separated petals, the lowermost often largest and bearing a backward-projecting spur. There will be 5 stamens loosely united around the ovary.

The leaves are alternate on the stem, simple but sometimes deeply lobed (Bird's Foot Violet), often heart-shaped.

Fruit is a berry, or explosively opening capsule.

There are about 22 genera and 900 species found nearly throughout the world. Many species of violets, including pansies, are cultivated for their attractive flowers.

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Vitaceae (Grape) -- High-climbing or trailing woody vines with branched tendrils that have adhering disks, or trailing and rooting along the leaf-littered vines.

Muscadine Grape
Vitis rotundifolia

The leaves are alternate, simple, lobed or unlobed; if lobed, the sinuses are rounded at the base, coarsely but sometimes shallowly toothed, the underside is smooth or light-colored and nearly smooth to matted-hairy, but not completely concealing the leaf surface. Leaf shape may be palmately compound, cordate or orbicular in form. The leaf margins may be serrate or lobed or not.

The flowers are small and inconspicuous in terminal or axillary cymes.

Fruit is dark purple, tan or blue edible berry.

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