Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Southern Wetland Flora
Field Office Guide to Plant Species
Verbena brasiliensis Vell.
- Family: Vervain (Verbenaceae)
- Flowering: May-October
- Field Marks: This vervain is recognized by its numerous, short spikes with small purple
flowers and its sharply 4-angled stems.
- Habitat: From dry to wet soil in distrubed sites, edges of ditches, abandoned fields, and roadsides,
primarily in the coastal plain.
- Habit: Perennial herb with a thickened crown.
- Stems: Upright, sharply 4-angled, hairy or even spinulose in the upper part, usually smooth in
the lower part, up to 8 feet tall.
- Leaves: Opposite, simple, elliptic to lanceolate, pointed at the tip, tapering to the base, coarsely
toothed, sparsely hairy on both surfaces, up to 4 inches long, up to 1 inch wide.
- Flowers: Numerous, crowded into several spikes up to 2 inches long; each flower subtended by
a bract about as long as the calyx.
- Sepals: 5, green, united below, up to 1/6 inch long, slightly hairy.
- Petals: Usually 4, unequal in size, purple, united below, a little longer than the sepals.
- Stamens: 4, attached to the tube of the petals.
- Pistils: Ovary superior, 4-lobed.
- Fruits: 2 or 4 nutlets, brown on one face, gray on the other, slightly warty.
- Notes: This plant persists over most of the winter, and in the deep south may remain green until
December or January during mild winters.
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