Texas Vervain
Verbena halei
Verbenaceae (Vervain) Family

Plant is an upright perennial herb with a square stem. Its preferred habitat is between stable dunes, meadows, fields and roadsides. Distribution is throughout the Escambia region.

The leaves are opposite on the stem, short leaf stalks, pinnately dissected (elongated where the leaf is deeply lobed on the central vein, appearing to be leaf segments). The upper leaves are scale-like while lower leaves may be three inches long in a basal whorl.

The flowers are a spike at the tip of a slender stem (terminal); lavender to blue; funnel shaped and sub-tended by a bractlet; sessile (no stalk). The calyx is five-lobed; one tooth shorter than the others. The corolla is tubular and curved, somewhat unequally five-lobed; two pairs of stamens (one shorter than the other); slender style; stigma is two-lobed.

Fruit is schizocarp (an ovary with two or more chambers in which the chambers separate at maturity).

Texas Vervain may also be known as Herb-of-the-Cross, which synonym is Verbena officinalis.

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