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Published In: Species Plantarum 1: 20. 1753. (1 May 1753) (Sp. Pl.) Name publication detailView in BotanicusView 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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7. Verbena urticifolia L. (white vervain, nettle-leaved vervain)

Pl. 574 d, e; Map 2690

Plants perennial. Stems 50–150(–250) cm long, erect or strongly ascending, moderately to strongly 4-angled, moderately pubescent with nonglandular, straight or somewhat curved, spreading, sometimes pustular-based hairs, often with shorter, ascending hairs toward the tip. Leaves short- to moderately petiolate, the petiole usually winged above the midpoint, the blades (2–)5–12(–20) cm long, at least those of the largest leaves (10–)20–70(–120) mm wide, broadly lanceolate to oblong-lanceolate or ovate, rounded or short-tapered to a nonclasping base, tapered to a sharply pointed tip, unlobed, the margins relatively coarsely and sometimes doubly toothed, both surfaces glabrous to moderately (rarely densely) pubescent with spreading to loosely appressed, nonglandular, sometimes pustular-based hairs. Inflorescences usually panicles of several to numerous spikes, these 8–50 cm long, relatively open (the flowers not overlapping), slender, elongating greatly with age. Bracts 0.5–1.5 mm long, shorter than the calyx, ovate to narrowly ovate. Calyces 1.5–2.5 mm long. Corollas 2–4 mm long, the outer surface sparsely to moderately hairy, especially toward the tip of the tube, funnelform, white, the tube relatively slender, the limb 1–2(–3) mm in diameter. Nutlets 1.5–2.0 mm long, oblong to narrowly oblong or oblong-elliptic in outline, the inner surface usually slightly pale and smooth or with sparse to moderate, minute papillae, the outer surface yellowish brown to reddish brown, smooth or with several longitudinal ridges, these sometimes with a few cross-ridges toward the tip. 2n=14. May–October.

Scattered nearly throughout the state (eastern U.S. west to North Dakota and Texas; Canada, Mexico). Banks of streams and rivers, margins of ponds, and lakes, openings of bottomland and mesic upland forests, and occasionally savannas; also pastures, old fields, fencerows, margins of crop fields, railroads, roadsides, and open disturbed areas.

Plants with the leaf undersurface densely short-hairy and slightly shorter calyces and nutlets have been called var. leiocarpa L.M. Perry & Fernald. This variety, which occurs nearly throughout the species range, seems to intergrade freely with the less hairy var. urticifolia and thus should not be provided with formal taxonomic recognition. Steyermark (1963) noted the existence of such plants elsewhere, but excluded the taxon from the Missouri flora. Moldenke (1980) reported the variety from Greene and Shannon Counties, but without supplemental information or citation of a voucher specimen. Thus far, no specimens have been discovered with this extreme morphology, although a number of seemingly intermediate specimens from mostly eastern Missouri have been collected.



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