Verbena hastata, commonly called blue vervain, is a Missouri native perennial. It grows in wet meadows, wet river bottomlands, stream banks, slough peripheries, fields and waste areas. Features candelabra-like flowers in upright spikes. Flowers on each spike bloom bottom to top, only a few at a time, and are attractive to hummingbirds, butterflies, and other pollinators.
The flowers of Blue Vervain attract many kinds of long-tongued and short-tongued bees. Mammalian herbivores usually avoid eating this plant because of its bitter leaves. An exception is the Cottontail Rabbit, which may eat the foliage of young plants to a limited extent. Also, various songbirds occasionally eat the seeds, including the Cardinal, Swamp Sparrow, Field Sparrow, Song Sparrow, and Slate-Colored Junco
Livestock usually avoid eating this plant because of its bitter leaves.
The preference is full to partial sunlight, moist conditions, and soil consisting of fertile loam or wet muck. This plant tolerates standing water if it is temporary. This is a good plant to locate near a small river or pond in a sunny location.
Habitats include riverbottom prairies, moist meadows in floodplain woodlands, soggy thickets, borders of rivers and ponds, marshes, ditches, fence rows, and pastures. This plant adapts readily to degraded wetlands and other disturbed areas, but it can be found in higher quality habitats as well.