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Verbena hastata, Blue Vervain, can be found in a variety if habitats including moist prairies & meadows, floodplain woodlands, moist thickets, along borders of rivers and ponds, marshes, moist basins and ditches. Verbena hastata will easily adapt to disturbed or degraded wetlands despite its preference for loamy soils. Growing 2-4' tall in full sun to part shade with 5" spikes of numerous small violet flowers from mid to late summer. The fibrous roots and short rhizomes of Blue Vervain help to stabilize saturated soils.
Blooming at the same time as Rudbeckia hirta, Verbena hastata is a vibrantly flowering short-lived perennial found in successional meadows. They enjoy moist soils and are tolerant of slight shade. This gives them a special niche among the swales and berms of any meadow. They grow tall, with numerous small purple flowers brushing along the tips of the grasses they grow among. They are incredibly important to wildlife, providing seed to cardinals, sparrows, and juncos. Cottontail rabbits sometimes munch on the foliage, though most animals avoid the bitter taste. Verbena hastata is also the larval host to the Common Buckeye butterfly. Similarly, as long-lived meadow perennials establish, Verbena hastata will fade to the background to make room for other plants.