Verbena urticifolia

White Vervain

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This is a native plant that doesn't get much respect. Altough it is a verbena, it does not produce pretty or fragrant flowers. This perennial grows three to five feet tall and is found in shady margins of woods. The opposite leaves are lanceolate, broader at the base with a tapering point, and coarsely toothed, with a rough texture like sandpaper. The species name "urticifolia" translates to "nettle-like". In July to August it produces large panicles of narrow rattail-like drooping spikes that are both terminal and arising from the upper leaf axils. Hundreds of spikes may appear on one plant, with dozens of tiny white five-petalled flowers, which only bloom a few at a time. It is native throughout most of east and central North America. While it is not attractive, it does provide pollen for native bees and seeds for fall migrating birds.

Plant Shape
Partial Shade
Bloom Time
July - August, September - October
Bloom Color
Landscape Use
Bedding or Border
Wildlife Interest
Attracts Birds, Resistant To Deer, Native to Midwest
Plant Type
Hardiness Zone
3 - 9