Verbena stricta

Species Native to Missouri
Common Name: hoary vervain 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Verbenaceae
Native Range: North America
Zone: 4 to 7
Height: 2.00 to 4.00 feet
Spread: 1.50 to 2.00 feet
Bloom Time: May to September
Bloom Description: Blue-purple
Sun: Full sun
Water: Dry to medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Naturalize
Flower: Showy
Attracts: Hummingbirds, Butterflies
Tolerate: Drought, Erosion, Dry Soil, Shallow-Rocky Soil


Easily grown in average, dry to medium, well-drained soils in full sun. May thrive in dryish, sandy soils. Often will naturalize by self-seeding to form colonies. Remove the spent flowering spikes before seed matures to prevent any unwanted self-seeding. Easily grown from seed. Plants usually bloom in the second year after seeding. Good drought tolerance.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Verbena stricta, commonly called hoary vervain, is a vigorous, clump-forming perennial that gets its common name from the white pubescence on its gray-green leaves and stems. It is native throughout Missouri, typically occurring in prairies, glades, thickets, fields, waste ground and along railroads and roadsides (Steyermark). It grows in a narrow clump to 2-4’ tall and features blue-purple flowers (to 1/2” long) in narrow, upright, pencil-like, terminal panicles. Flowers are densely packed on the panicles, but bloom only a few at a time from bottom to top. Flowers appear from May to September, but primarily in summer and are attractive to hummingbirds, butterflies, and other pollinators. Ovate, coarsely-toothed, usually stalkless leaves (to 4” long) are covered with whitish hairs. Foliage has a gray-green appearance.

Genus name comes from a Latin name used for some plants in religious ceremonies and also in medicine.

Specific epithet means erect or upright.


No serious insect or disease problems.


Borders, meadows, prairies, wild or native plant gardens.