So this showy flower popped up for the first time this year (2022) in my semi-meadow next to my driveway. Heellllo! Thanks for showing up!
In “ancient times” this plant was thought to be a cure-all among medicinal plants, hence the genus name which means “sacred plant” in Latin.
Alternate Names: Swamp Verbena, Blue Verbena, Simpler's Joy Size: 2'-5' tall Family: Verbenaceae (Verbena Family) Habitat: Sun-part shade. Prefers moist - wet areas. Identification: stout-stemmed perennial with numerous, pencil-like flower spikes branched upwards like the arms of a candelabra. Each flower spike has a ring of blue-purple flowers; the flowers at the bottom of the spike bloom first, and the ring of flowers appears to advance upward to the tips of the spike. (From wildflower.org) Uses: "This plant has been used for many years as a medicinal herb for treating convalescents and people suffering from depression, headaches, jaundice, cramps, coughs and fevers. Externally, it has been applied to wounds, ulcers and acne. Swamp vervain can, however, interere with blood pressure medication and hormone therapy, and large doses cause vomiting and diarrhea. (Kershaw)" (from wildflower.org)