Vervain (Verbena officinalis)
Key facts about Vervain
- Height: 30-75cm
- Flowering Time: July – September
- Flower colour: Baby pink
- Growth habit: Upright stems
- Habitat: Grassy places in full sun
- Appears in: Cottage Garden Meadowmat
A Brief Description of Vervain
Pretty pink flowers are held aloft on strong stems. Vervain has several trumpet shaped flowers to each spike, and several spikes to each stem. The hairy leaves are in pairs and often divided into lobes with curved teeth. If you think the leaves look familiar, you’d be right. This plant is closely related to Verbena bonariensis – a popular garden plant.
This plant seems to thrive where no other does. It can eke an existence in very poor soil. In a garden setting it’s not only attractive to pollinators, it’s generally very reliable.
Where to use Vervain
Such a pretty plant deserves a place in any garden. This little wildflower has a very traditional feel to it – which of course is why we added it to the seedmix of Cottage Garden Meadowmat. I can imagine this plant growing in a rockery or a prairie type planting scheme. It would work well in a dry garden and as part of a diverse border.
What of the ancients? How did they use vervain? The scientific name “Verbena” refers to plants that were used by Druids during sacrifices. In Medieval times, our ancestors prized for vervain for its medicinal qualities. This plant is used to treat headaches and to relieve insomnia. Interesting then that this plant is a cousin of lemon verbena the plant we still use today to create a tea that will aid relaxation and sleep.
- Robust plant that enjoys sunny spots and poor soil
- Beautiful pink flowers
- Open structure that interweaves with neighbouring plants
- Easy to grow
- Late summer flowering when bee forage is in short supply
If you like pink flowers, you’ll adore Ragged Robin. Read the plant profile here