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More verbosity about Verbenas...


by James Alexander-Sinclair

I wanted to add my voice to a theme that has already been breached on these pages by the blessed Adam and responded to by a number of you.


VerbenasI wanted to add my voice to a theme that has already been breached on these pages by the blessed Adam and responded to by a number of you. The subject is Verbena rigida and other Verbenas in general. Adam sings eloquently of V.rigida and it is, indeed, an extraordinarily fine plant (I have it self seeding in the gravel outside my office).

Pretty well everybody also knows about Verbena bonariensis which is one of the finest herbaceous plants ever invented: it flowers for ages (from about July until November), it needs no staking, the colour goes beautifully with everything (hot colours, softer colours and, of course grasses). Then it seeds itself and you get free plants. I started with twelve in my garden and now have hundreds (not counting the ones I have weeded or given away or sold at the village fete - which incidentally is next Saturday in Whittlebury, Northamptonshire. Hooray all round. (Unless you happen to live in parts of the USA or New Zealand where it is a pestilential weed or if you are walking through it with bare legs - the stems are serrated and sharp.)

However, and this is why I wanted to chip in, nobody has yet mentioned the divine Verbena hastata. This is, I think, the best of the three: shorter than bonariensis but very nearly as long flowering it has spikes of flower where bonariensis and rigida have plates. It also comes in blue (hastata), pink (hastata rosea) and white (hastata alba). Even more hoorays all round (and perhaps the occasional whoopee.)



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Gardeners' World Web User 11/10/2007 at 07:23

Thank you, I will certainly look for this for my garden.

Gardeners' World Web User 10/10/2008 at 20:18

Heres a funny story about verbena bonariensis not knowing this variety only the small one which I've used as bedding before, when we move houses the time of year was April and most plants were still under ground and not knowing what was going to show, as they did show and seedlings popped up I collected some up and grew some on for pots and hanging baskets. Have you guessed yet? haveing an abundence of verbena I gave my neighbour some with some other plants I had grown for baskets she took no time at all filling her baskets and adding the plants I had given her to and yes you've guessed after 3 to 4 weeks I realised the verbena was some thing else, before long my neighbour had 2 and 3 ft verbena plants growing in wall and hanging baskets it still makes me laugh now and she saw the funny side of it. and now I love this plant its now one of my favorites I let it seed were ever.

Gardeners' World Web User 14/10/2008 at 15:59

Great story, Gail

Gardeners' World Web User 28/11/2011 at 18:29

Fully agree with the comments about hastata rosea - a beautiful plant which also self-seeds in my garden. Yippee!