Verbena hastata - Blue Vervain or Swamp Verbena

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Full SunButterfly FriendlyRain GardenBird Friendly
Blue Vervain or Swamp Verbena
Verbena hastata

Tall, slender stems hold up 5 to 6-inch spikes of the most beautiful, lavender blue, flowers that bloom for several months! Some say the flower spikes are reminiscent of candelabras. The flowers attract butterflies and it is a host plant for the Common Buckeye butterfly.  Don’t cut them back before spring because Cardinals, Sparrows and Junco’s enjoy eating the seed. This is an easy perennial to grow in bright sun with moist soil. It looks especially nice in rain gardens or along a ponds edge. Amazingly, blue vervain is native to every state in the U.S.

  • Attracts butterflies for several months each summer
  • Songbirds like Cardinals, Sparrows and Juncos eat the seed
  • This is a host plant for the Common Buckeye butterfly
  • A beautiful addition to a rain garden
  • Looks terrific grown at the pons edge between sedges and rushes
  • Flowers for nearly 3 months!

Native Range

Verbena hastata can be found in wet meadows, wet river bottomlands, stream banks and fields.

Map Credit: The Biota of North America 
Map Key: Green (native), Teal (native, adventive), Blue (present), Yellow (present & rare), Red (extinct)


In ancient times the plant was thought to be a cure-all among medicinal plants. Blue vervain has been used by herbalists for over 3000 years in Europe, Africa, and Asia.




Easily grown in average, medium to wet soils in full sun. It can be short-lived but will reseed itself in good locations.


Mature Size: 4-6ft. Tall x 2-3ft. Wide

Hardiness Zone: 3-9

Sun Exposure: Full Sun

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