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Published In: Anales de Ciencias Naturales 4(12): 260–261. 1801. (Anales Ci. Nat.) Name publication detailView in BotanicusView in Biodiversity Heritage LibraryView in Biodiversity Heritage Library

Project Name Data (Last Modified On 9/22/2017)
Acceptance : Accepted
Project Data     (Last Modified On 7/9/2009)
Status: Native


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2. Verbena bracteata Lag. & Rodr. (creeping vervain, prostrate vervain)

Pl. 573 g, h; Map 2685

Plants annual or perennial, sometimes forming mats. Stems 10–50 cm long, usually spreading to loosely ascending or spreading with ascending tips, rarely more strongly ascending, slightly to moderately 4-angled, moderately to densely pubescent with nonglandular, straight to slightly curved, spreading, often pustular-based hairs. Leaves sessile or with a winged petiole, the blades 1–5(–7) cm long, lanceolate to ovate-lanceolate or oblanceolate, tapered to a slender, nonclasping base, rounded or broadly angled to a bluntly pointed tip, variously unlobed to pinnately or ternately deeply lobed, the margins also finely to coarsely toothed, occasionally only above the midpoint, both surfaces moderately to densely pubescent with loosely ascending, nonglandular, sometimes pustular-based hairs. Inflorescences usually solitary spikes, 2–20 cm long, dense (the flowers strongly overlapping), relatively stout, elongating greatly with age. Bracts 8–15 mm long, 2–4 times as long as the calyx, narrowly lanceolate to narrowly elliptic. Calyces 3–4 mm long. Corollas 4–6 mm long, the outer surface glabrous, narrowly funnelform to somewhat trumpet-shaped, purplish blue, the tube relatively slender, the limb 2–3 mm in diameter. Nutlets 2.0–2.5 mm long, oblong to narrowly oblong in outline, the inner surface usually pale and with dense, minute papillae, the outer surface yellowish brown to reddish brown, with several longitudinal ridges, these with several cross-ridges above the midpoint. 2n=14, 28. April–October.

Scattered nearly throughout the state (throughout the U.S.; Canada, Mexico). Banks of streams and rivers, glades, and disturbed portions of upland prairies; also old fields, pastures, railroads, roadsides, and open disturbed areas.

This species is mostly observed in highly disturbed areas, such as along sidewalks, alleys, and roadsides, sometimes forming mats, especially in sandy soils. It is distinctive in its long bracts, which are loosely ascending to loosely reflexed (toward the spike bases). The inflorescences, including the bracts, are mostly 1–2 cm in diameter. In addition to the putative hybrids listed at the beginning of the generic treatment, Steyermark (1963) also reported a specimen from Grundy County deposited at the University of Missouri herbarium (Crookshanks 142) that he suspected to represent V. bracteata × hastata. However, the late Harold Moldenke, who was the specialist on hybridization in Verbena, later redetermined this specimen as V. ×perriana (V. bracteata × urticifolia).



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