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Blue vervain

Verbena hastata

Verbena hastata

Regular price $6.48 USD
Regular price Sale price $6.48 USD
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Sun/shade: Full sun

Soil moisture: Medium to wet

Height: 2-6'

Spread: 1-2.5'

Flowering period: July

Tall (3-5’) but delicate in appearance, blue vervain adds a lovely blue to violet accent to the pollinator garden in summer. Flowers are positioned atop the plant in numerous “spikes,” forming an arrangement that has been likened to a candelabra. As the flower spikes elongate over the course of a long, two month blooming period, new flowers replace the old, gradually ascending towards the spike terminus. The plant is thus a continuous nectar source throughout much of the summer for a wide variety of butterflies, flies, bees, and wasps.

Blue vervain is especially valuable to long-tongued pollinators, due to the fact that its tubular flowers eliminate competition from shorter tongued species who can’t access the plant’s nectar. Several species of songbirds have been known to consume the seeds of Blue Vervain, including the cardinal, swamp sparrow, field sparrow, song sparrow, and dark-eyed junco. This plant can tolerate periods of flooding and will grow best in sunny situations within soils ranging from wet to average moisture. In the context of NE Ohio natural areas, blue vervain is most frequently encountered in floodplains and wet meadows.

References: 1,2.

Photo by Ashley Keesling.

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