Other names: mullein-leaved verbena,
Blooming time: Late June to September
Height: up to 3 ft.
Stems and Leaves: Hoary vervain has opposite,
coarsely toothed leaves and square stems covered by dense
hairs. The stems branch and form a cluster of elongate
branches at the top. The leaves are oval and prominently
veined and may be up to 4 inches long.
Flowers and Fruit: The flowers vary in color
from purplish blue to rose and occur in terminal spikes
that may grow up to 8 inches long. Blooming begins at the
bottom of the spike and proceeds upward. The flowers are
nearly 1/2 inch long and are slightly irregular, with two
upper and three lower lobes. The calyx is five-toothed,
with one tooth shorter than the others.
Interesting facts: Reproduction is mainly by
seed. Some Native Americans gathered the seeds which they
then roasted and ground into a flour or meal. The Omaha
prepared a tea from the leaves. The Teton Dakota used
this tea as a remedy for stomach aches. Vervains are
classed as weeds by many people. They have extensive root
systems which make them good soil anchors in erosion
situations. In the winter, the tops of the vervains
provide a seed source for birds.
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Page last updated March 24, 2015
Text resources: Wildflowers of the Tallgrass Prairie- The Upper Midwest,
Sylvan T. Runkel and Dean M. Roosa;
A Field Guide to Wildflowers of the Northeastern and
North-central North America, Roger Tory Peterson and
Photos by Barb McGee - bjmcreations.com