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.