Verbena (Verbena rigida)

Spreading patches of brilliant purple verbena can be seen along roadsides and waste places all summer long. This plant multiplies from long white rhizomes which spread out in all directions and form dense colonies.

It is hardy and drought resistant. Mowing makes it put on new blooms, so it was a good selection as one of the plants to be used for highway plantings in Alabama.

This verbena is a freely branching perennial with opposite lance-shaped leaves which are very rough to the touch. The leaves are two to four inches long and one-half to one and a half inches wide. They are sessile and have a coarsely-toothed margin.

The flower clusters are stiffly erect spikes, each two to three inches long and three-fourths inch across. The small individual flower has a slender tube and five petals.

This sturdy plant is a native of South America. It is widespread in the southeastern United States and would be a good choice for a meadow garden.