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Published In: Description des Plantes Nouvelles . . . Jardin de J. M. Cels pl. 53. 1800. (Descr. Pl. Nouv.) Name publication detailView 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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6. Verbena stricta Vent. (hoary vervain)

Pl. 574 f, g; Map 2689

Plants perennial. Stems 20–120(–150) cm long, erect or strongly ascending, moderately to strongly 4-angled, moderately to densely pubescent with nonglandular, somewhat curved, more or less spreading, often pustular-based hairs, usually also with moderate to dense, shorter, more appressed hairs. Leaves sessile or short-petiolate, the petioles (when present) to 5 mm long, winged, the blades 1–9 cm long, at least those of the largest leaves 15–50 mm wide, ovate to elliptic or nearly circular, those of the uppermost leaves sometimes only lanceolate to narrowly elliptic, rounded to more commonly angled or short-tapered to a nonclasping base, rounded to more commonly angled or short-tapered to a bluntly or sharply pointed tip, unlobed, the margins relatively coarsely and sometimes doubly toothed, both surfaces densely pubescent with longer and shorter, appressed, nonglandular, sometimes pustular-based hairs (appearing grayish), felty or roughened to the touch. Inflorescences mostly solitary spikes, these sometimes grouped into small panicles of 3(5) spikes, each 4–20 cm long, moderately dense (the flowers strongly overlapping except sometimes the lowermost ones), appearing stout when young but often relatively slender at maturity, elongating greatly with age. Bracts 2.0–2.5 mm long, slightly shorter than to slightly longer than the calyx, narrowly lanceolate. Calyces 3.5–5.0 mm long. Corollas 7–10 mm long, the outer surface sparsely to moderately hairy, especially near the tip of the tube, funnelform, purple to purplish blue (rarely white or pink), the tube slightly broadened toward the tip, the limb 7–9 mm in diameter. Nutlets 2–3 mm long, narrowly oblong in outline, the inner surface usually pale and with dense, minute papillae, the outer surface grayish brown, with several longitudinal ridges, these with several cross-ridges above the midpoint. 2n=14. June–October.

Scattered nearly throughout the state (nearly throughout the U.S.; Canada, but introduced east of Ohio). Glades, upland prairies, loess hill prairies, sand prairies, savannas, tops of bluffs, banks of streams and rivers, margins of lakes, and openings of mesic to dry upland forests; also pastures, old fields, fallow fields, railroads, roadsides, and open, disturbed areas.

Rare plants with white corollas have been called f. albiflora Wadmond, and rare plants with pink corollas have been called f. roseiflora Benke.

Moldenke (1980) reported V. xutha Lehm. from the city of St. Louis, but without supplemental information or citation of a voucher specimen. Intensive herbarium searches, including at Moldenke’s personal herbarium (now at the University of Texas), failed to disclose any support for the inclusion of this species in the flora. Additionally, O’Leary et al. (2010) did not cite any Missouri vouchers in their recent taxonomic revision of Verbena series Verbena. Thus, the species has been excluded from the state’s flora. Verbena xutha occurs in a broad band across the southern United States from Arizona east to Alabama. It differs from V. stricta in its deeply divided leaf blades and its somewhat less dense mature inflorescences.



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