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Vervain, Hoary

Verbena stricta

Birds eat seeds of this plant; mammals including livestock generally don’t consume foliage because it is bitter



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Verbena stricta, commonly called hoary vervain, is a native perennial forb (wildflower).  It grows in a narrow clump to 2-4’ tall and features blue-purple flowers. Blooms May to September.


Wildlife notes

Many kinds of insects are attracted to the flowers, including long-tongued bees, green metallic bees, thread-waisted wasps, bee flies, thick-headed flies, butterflies, and skippers. Various songbirds eat the seeds, including the Cardinal (winter), Slate-Colored Junco (winter), Field Sparrow, and others. It is possible that these birds help to distribute the seeds to new areas.

Forage notes

Livestock rarely eat Hoary Vervain because the foliage is quite hairy and bitter. It is considered an ‘increaser’ in overgrazed pastures.

Landscaping notes

Easily grown in average, dry to medium, well-drained soils in full sun. In rich loamy soil, it will grow well, but has difficulty competing with other plants. 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.

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

Restoration notes

Habitats include upland prairies, gravel prairies, hill prairies, barrens with stunted shrubby vegetation, limestone glades, overgrazed pastures, abandoned fields, the grassy shoulders of highway overpasses, and areas along railroads. Hoary Vervain favors low grassy areas with a history of disturbance, particularly from grazing.

This plant is commonly used in the following mixes: Wildlife Chuckwagon Mix, Butterfly & Hummingbird Mix

Additional information

Weight N/A

Packet, Ounce, Pound


Full Sun

Seeding Rate

5 bulk lbs/acre


Dry, Average



Bloom Month

Jul, Aug, Sep



Specialty Uses

Butterfly, Wildlife

Cattle Palatability


# seeds/pkt


Packet coverage area

5 sq. ft

Life Cycle


What is PLS?

Pure Live Seed (PLS) is the portion of good viable seed per pound. It is a measure of the seed that is alive and able to sprout into plants. This product is sold by PLS ounce/pound. To provide one ounce/pound of viable seed, you will receive more than one ounce/pound of product. Read more about PLS here.