Blue Vervain

Verbena hastata

Blue vervain
Blue vervain, Verbena hastata

No need to bend over to see this tall beauty!  Blue vervain grows 2 to 5 feet tall! I found these plants growing on the banks of Pandapas Pond in June and July in Montgomery County, Virginia.

The 5-petaled, violet-blue flowers of blue vervain are borne on unique branching spikes. The flowers on each spike slowly open from the bottom to the top. Another noteworthy feature is the 4-sided and grooved stem. Blue vervain leaves are born on short stems; they are elliptic and coarsely toothed (doubly serrated). See the photos below.

Because it prefers wet places like pond shores and seeps, blue vervain is sometimes called swamp vervain. Historically, it was used for both food and medicine. The wide-ranging medicinal uses are almost too numerous to mention, but include fever-reducer, expectorant, digestive-aid, and lactation-aid!  A true multi-purpose plant!

Bloom time for this attractive native plant is July to September.

Doubly-serrate margins of the blue vervain leaf
Doubly-serrate margins of the blue vervain leaf
Leaf attachment in blue vervain
Leaf attachment in blue vervain
The stem is 4-sided and grooved
The stem is 4-sided and grooved
Blue vervain
Blue vervain
Blue vervain
Blue vervain
Blue Vervain
Blue Vervain

5 thoughts on “Blue Vervain”

  1. I have had what I thought is some type of Vervain that has come up next to my front porch now for 2 yrs. It is very tall, doesn’t have a leaf structure like your pics above, nor is the flower the same at all…mine is Fuschia in color & has a bunch of small flowers (dime sized) & circular blossom. The plant is very tall. It’s in full-bloom right now…I’d love for you to see it. I live in Shadowlake Village – 1725 Sage.

    I love this site…thank you so much for this beautiful project!

    1. I’d love to stop by and see the flowers. I’m no expert though. I find new flowers all the time, and then have to wait to get home to identify them from a field guide. It is a recent pursuit that I have really enjoyed, and it has just increased my love for this area.

      Thanks!

      1. You are most welcome to stop by, Gloria. My phone no. is 961-0181 & I check email frequently during the day. I do have errands for much of tomorrow & Friday, but would be happy to arrange a convenient time with you. I’d love to meet you, the flower is to the right of the entrance to my house…you are welcome to come by anytime to see it.
        My best,
        Sarajane

      2. Gloria,Others have identified my mystery plant as Ironweed. So, there it is…not a kind of Vervain. I’ve never seen one so tall! It’s good to know it’s identity at last. My best to you,Sarajane

        Date: Wed, 21 Aug 2013 20:26:50 +0000 To: sjtaylor210@hotmail.com

        1. Oh, good. Yes, the ironweed is GORGEOUS right now. There is a huge patch of it a little further below you on Shadowlake Road, to the right in the field. The color is really spectacular.

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