Plant DetailShow Menu

Verbena bonariensis

Phonetic Spelling
ver-BEE-nuh bon-ar-ee-EN-sis
Description

Tall Verbena or Brazilian Vervain is a tall upright plant considered a "pop-up" plant or "see-through" plant. It fills in vertical space in the perennial border but allows plants behind it to be seen. Its clusters of tiny lavender blooms persist early summer till frost and butterflies and bees love them. Yellow finches will visit them for the seeds.

Tall verbena is native to South America but has naturalized in the United States, from North Carolina to Florida, and west to Texas. 

The plant is a tender perennial and is hardy from zones 7 to 11. In cooler climates, it is considered an annual. In some areas, it is considered a weed where it has been naturalized. It tolerates a variety of soil types and from average to dry conditions and full sun. They will spread by volunteer seedlings, but unwanted seedlings are easy to pull out.

Rounded clusters of small purple flowers, that measure 2 to 3 inches in diameter, appear on long wispy or airy stems. Each flower is about a 0.25-inch purple tube. The leaves are primarily at the base of the plant and form a mounded rosette of green, lance-shaped leaves with serrated margins. 

Consider this plant for a border or flower bed or use in a rock garden, cottage garden, or naturalized in a meadow. 

Seasons of Interest:

Bloom: Summer and Fall       Foliage:  Spring, Summer, and Fall

Quick ID Hints:

  • perennial up to 2 to 5 feet tall with wispy, wiry, tall stems from
  • foliage at the base of the plant with green, lance-shaped leaves with serrated margins
  • rounded clusters of purple flowers measuring 2 to 3 inches in diameter
  • each bloom is a purple tube measuring 0.25 inches in length

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  This plant has no serious insect or disease problems although powdery mildew can occur.

VIDEO created by Andy Pulte for “Landscape Plant Identification, Taxonomy and Morphology” a plant identification course offered by the Department of Plant Sciences, University of Tennessee.

 

Profile Video:
See this plant in the following landscapes:
Pollinator Garden- Full Sun Pollinator Garden- Partial Shade Pollinator Garden- Full Sun Pollinator Garden- Partial Shade Pollinator Garden- Full Sun Pollinator Garden- Partial Shade Pollinator Garden- Full Sun Pollinator Garden- Partial Shade Plant Walls and Hedges
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Lollipop'
    Natural dwarf variety, grows to 2-3 feet tall.
'Lollipop'
Tags:
#purple#full sun tolerant#drought tolerant#lavender#perennials#purple flowers#fall interest#cottage garden#rabbit resistant#mass planting#cpp#summer flowers#deer resistant#rock garden#cutting garden#pollinator plant#naturalized area#fantz#poor soils tolerant#small group plantings#butterfly friendly#meadows#Buncombe County Sun and Shade Garden#pollinator garden#landscape plant sleuths course#border
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Lollipop'
    Natural dwarf variety, grows to 2-3 feet tall.
'Lollipop'
Tags:
#purple#full sun tolerant#drought tolerant#lavender#perennials#purple flowers#fall interest#cottage garden#rabbit resistant#mass planting#cpp#summer flowers#deer resistant#rock garden#cutting garden#pollinator plant#naturalized area#fantz#poor soils tolerant#small group plantings#butterfly friendly#meadows#Buncombe County Sun and Shade Garden#pollinator garden#landscape plant sleuths course#border
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Verbena
    Species:
    bonariensis
    Family:
    Verbenaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Root Cutting
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    South America
    Distribution:
    Southern USA
    Wildlife Value:
    Attracts butterflies and hummingbirds.
    Play Value:
    Attractive Flowers
    Attracts Pollinators
    Colorful
    Easy to Grow
    Dimensions:
    Height: 2 ft. 0 in. - 5 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 2 ft. 0 in. - 3 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Annual
    Perennial
    Weed
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Fine
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Shallow Rocky
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    Available Space To Plant:
    12 inches-3 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    7a, 7b, 8b, 8a, 9a, 9b, 10a, 10b, 11b, 11a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Fruit Type:
    Capsule
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    Brown seed capsules
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Purple/Lavender
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Cyme
    Panicle
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Good Cut
    Long Bloom Season
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Fall
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Tubular
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Forms a dense flat-topped cluster of purple flowers spanning about 1-3" across. Individual flowers are about 1/4" across and 1/3" long.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Opposite
    Leaf Shape:
    Elliptical
    Lanceolate
    Oblanceolate
    Leaf Margin:
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    Forms a basal clump of lance-shaped, dark green leaves up to 5 inches long. They become more sparse as they go up the stem.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Red/Burgundy
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Cross Section:
    Square
    Stem Surface:
    Hairy (pubescent)
    Stem Description:
    Thin but strong green stems with ridges and red markings down the ridges and short white hairs.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Meadow
    Naturalized Area
    Slope/Bank
    Small Space
    Walkways
    Landscape Theme:
    Cottage Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Rock Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Mass Planting
    Small groups
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Hummingbirds
    Pollinators
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Drought
    Dry Soil
    Poor Soil
    Rabbits
    Problems:
    Weedy