General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Herb/Forb
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun
Water Preferences: Dry Mesic
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
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
Miscellaneous: Tolerates poor soil

Common names
  • Hoary Vervain
  • Hoary Verbena
  • Tall Vervain
  • Woolly Verbena

Photo Gallery
Location: central Nebraska 
Date: 2021-08-05 
Common wildflower in disturbed areas
Location: Illinois, US
Date: 2015-07-15
Location: Jefferson County, Nebraska
Date: 2012-07-05
Location: Our Prairie to be, near Central Iowa
Date: 2015-08-15
Dew covered flowers
Location: Matthaei Botanical Gardens, Ann Arbor, MI
Date: 2010-08-30
Location: Lilburn, GA
Date: 2020-04-23

Date: 2011-06-30
 Courtesy Outsidepride
  • Uploaded by vic
Location: Lenore, ID
Location: Smith College Botanical Garden
Date: 2011-08-02
Location: Matthaei Botanical Gardens, Ann Arbor, MI
Date: 2010-08-30
Location: Matthaei Botanical Gardens, Ann Arbor, MI
Date: 2010-08-30

Photo Courtesy of Prairie Nursery. Used with Permission
  • Uploaded by Joy

Photo Courtesy of Prairie Nursery. Used with Permission
  • Uploaded by Joy

Photo Courtesy of Prairie Nursery. Used with Permission
  • Uploaded by Joy
Location: Brownstown PA 17508
Date: 2020-07-09
Location: Glen Ellyn, Illinois
Date: 2012-08-15
plants in bloom in the restored Kirk prairie
Location: Nennah, Wisconsin
Date: 2012-08-17
plants in bloom at prairie restoration

Courtesy Gardens in the Wood of Grassy Creek
  • Uploaded by vic
Uploaded by rocklady
Location: Our Prairie to be, near Central Iowa
Date: 2015-06-10
Location: Wilmington, Delaware USA
Date: 7/11/2021

Credit NPS

Credit NPS
  • Posted by Chillybean (Iowa - Zone 5a) on Aug 15, 2015 3:26 PM concerning plant:
    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.
  • Posted by ILPARW (southeast Pennsylvania - Zone 6b) on Mar 14, 2018 2:27 PM concerning plant:
    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.
Plant Events from our members
MrsBinWY On June 17, 2018 Transplanted
On 6-17-2018, planted 16 in the NW front bed where the Fritillaria persica was.
MrsBinWY On January 21, 2018 Seeds sown
WS 16 seeds from molanic
MunchkinsMom On May 7, 2022 Obtained plant
Arkansas Audubon $8.00 Quart
» 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

« Add a new plant to the database

« The Plants Database Front Page

Today's site banner is by Natalie and is called "Clematis (Clematis x jackmanii)"

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.