For Your Garden - April 2016
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Native plants provide beauty as well as food and shelter for wildlife. Native species are adapted to the Illinois climate. They require little or no watering and are resistant to drought, insects and most diseases. Because they are perennials, you can welcome their presence year after year.
blue vervain (Verbena hastata)
Photo © Adele Hodde, Illinois Department of Natural Resources
Blue vervain is found throughout Illinois in moist woodlands, moist prairies and moist disturbed areas. Flowering occurs from June through October. The blue-to-purple flowers develop on small spikes. Flowers mature first at the bottom of each spike and blooming progresses upward to the tip of the spike. The stem is four-sided and grooved. This plant may reach a height of six feet. It is a good species for pollinators.
Classification and taxonomy are based on Mohlenbrock, Robert H. 2014. Vascular flora of Illinois: A field guide. Fourth edition. Southern Illinois University Press, Carbondale. 536 pp.