Verbena hastata, Simpler’s Joy, Blue Vervain

Tried and True Native Plant Selections for the Mid-Atlantic

Found naturally in meadows, swamps, floodplains, and roadsides, Verbena hastata blooms throughout the summer and into autumn, longer than most other perennials.  Historically, it was thought to be a cure for many ailments, and it is still used for medicinal purposes today.

Print Version: Verbena hastata, Simpler’s Joy, Blue Vervain
Verbena hastata Perennial Height: 11⁄2–5 feet                    Spread: 1–21⁄2 feet Bloom Color: Blue to purple  Characteristics Graceful, erect, clump-forming perennial Long, narrow, toothed green leaves on stout, square, hairy, green or reddish stems Small, tubular flowers with blue/violet corollas and 5 lobes on branched, candelabra-like spikes bloom in rings from bottom to top from June to October Four tiny, reddish-brown, oblong nutlets replace each flower Forms colonies by spreading rhizomes and self- seeding; not reliably long-lived  Attributes Tolerates wet soil, temporary standing water, and moderate drought; no serious pests or diseases Deer seldom severely damage; cottontail rabbits may eat tender, young foliage infrequently  Medicinal uses Attracts bees, wasps, flies, small butterflies, skippers, and moths to the flowers and birds to the seeds; larval host for the Verbena moth  Growing and Maintenance Tips Soil Requirements: Rich  Light Requirements: Sun, Partial Shade Water Requirements: Moist, Wet Use in borders, meadows, native plant gardens, and rain gardens and near streams and ponds Hardiness: USDA Zones 3-8  Excellent Replacement for Lythrum salicaria - Purple Loosestrife Lythrum virgatum - European Wand Loosestrife  It is native to DC, MD, and PA and common throughout DE. In VA, it is frequent in the mountains, infrequent in the Piedmont, and rare in the Coastal Plain. It is native to NoVA except for Arlington County.
Learn more about other Mid-Atlantic plants: Tried and True Plant Fact Sheets