Hoary Vervain (Verbena stricta)

Common names:
Give a thumbs up Hoary Vervain
Give a thumbs up Hoary verbena
Give a thumbs up Tall vervain
Give a thumbs up Woolly verbena
Give a thumbs up Wooly verbena

General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Herb/Forb
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun
Water Preferences: Dry Mesic
Dry
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 4a -34.4 °C (-30 °F) to -31.7 °C (-25 °F)
Maximum recommended zone: Zone 8b
Plant Height: 12 - 48 inches
Plant Spread: 12 - 18 inches
Leaves: Fragrant
Flowers: Showy
Flower Color: Purple
Other: Blue-purple
Bloom Size: Under 1"
Flower Time: Summer
Late summer or early fall
Underground structures: Taproot
Suitable Locations: Xeriscapic
Uses: Will Naturalize
Wildlife Attractant: Bees
Butterflies
Resistances: Deer Resistant
Rabbit Resistant
Drought tolerant
Propagation: Seeds: Self fertile
Stratify seeds: 2 months cold moist treatment
Depth to plant seed: Seed is small. Do not cover with soil, and keep moist.
Pollinators: Self
Moths and Butterflies
Flies
Bees
Miscellaneous: Tolerates poor soil

Image

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Comments:
Posted by Chillybean (Iowa - Zone 5a) on Aug 15, 2015 3:26 PM

I was first introduced to this plant in a nature area when we first started birding. The name given was "Dame's Rocket". I accepted that at the time, because I knew nothing about plants. And though this comment is about the Vervain, the DR blooms much earlier in the year. I often saw this as a roadside weed. There was nothing to appreciate about it.

Last summer, I noticed thin purple flowers in our pasture that resembled those in the road. For some reason, I got a second opinion. I am glad I did! It is the Hoary Vervain. It is a freely growing plant in drier areas and is drought tolerant. Its relation, Blue Vervain, likes wetter conditions. Not all of the small flowers bloom at once, but they work their way up the stalk, so they may not be considered showy by some. I think some flowers were made like this to lengthen the amount of time a plant provides food.

I winter sowed some Hoary Vervain seeds last fall and they are doing well this summer. They have deep root systems. I tried pulling a couple to give more room to another native, but they wouldn't let me. Ah, well. They prefer full sun, but I have some strays in an area that only gets sun the first part of the day, and they also flowered.

The flowers are used by Sulphur butterflies and several bees. The leaves are enjoyed by grasshoppers, but not mammals because these leaves are hairy and bitter. The seeds can be eaten by Cardinals and native Sparrows in the winter.

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Posted by ILPARW (southeast Pennsylvania - Zone 6b) on Mar 14, 2018 2:27 PM

This Hoary Vervain has soft hairy leaves and stems with leaves nearly sessile and irregularly toothed margins. Its blue-violet spires are a real standout in the summer prairie. It is an excellent nectar source for butterflies. It has a fibrous root system. It grows in dry and well-drained soils. I've only seen this native species in prairie restorations. It would make a good, easy, reliable, regular garden perennial also. Its native range is from New England into Delaware to Texas way up to northeast Washington state in dry meadows and prairies and barrens. A good number of native plant nurseries sell this perennial, such as Prairie Nursery in Westfield, WI.

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Plant Events from our members
MrsBinWY On January 21, 2018 Seeds sown
WS 16 seeds from molanic
» Post your own event for this plant

Discussion Threads about this plant
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
Coloring/Lighting by Chillybean Aug 15, 2015 3:30 PM 0
Is this blue vervain? by Nettleguru Jun 20, 2019 7:18 PM 1
Looking for verbena seeds by piksihk Jan 20, 2016 11:48 AM 1
Hoary Vervain (Verbena stricta) by rocklady Sep 4, 2015 7:18 AM 5
Wildflowers galore... by Imaeus Jul 11, 2014 3:35 PM 8

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