Verbena hastata Open-pollinated. This 5–6' perennial grows naturally in moist thickets and meadows and will do well in similar garden conditions, sending up many terminal spikes of bristly blue-violet flower clusters the entire season. Although scraggly, it blends very well with many kinds of flowers by stretching its spikes amongst them. Herbalist Gail Edwards finds it “a powerful spiritual presence” and nervous system tonic. Similar to Verbena officinalis, but more alterative, vervain acts mainly on the liver and lungs. Its roots are more active than its leaves. Likes light well-drained moist soil. Zone 3. ~2,500 seeds/g. ①
About medicinal herbs: Archeological evidence dates the medicinal use of herbs back 60,000 years to the Neanderthals. 85% of the world’s population employ herbs as medicines, and 40% of pharmaceuticals in the U.S. contain plant-derived materials. Fewer than 10% of higher plant species have been investigated for their medicinal components. Interest in traditional herbal remedies continues to grow.
Statements about medicinal use of plants have not been evaluated by the FDA, and should not be used for the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any ailment. Before using or ingesting any medicinal plant, consult a healthcare practitioner familiar with botanical medicine.
Culture: Some herbs are customarily grown from divisions because they cannot come true from seed, such as scented thymes and flavored mints. Some require fall sowing of fresh seed, such as sweet cicely and angelica.
Using herbs: Drying herbs at home is not difficult. Whole leaves retain their flavor at least a year. To substitute fresh herbs for dried in cooking, use triple the dried quantity called for in a recipe.
For the latest results of our germination tests, please see the germination page.