Blossom XLVIII: Verbena

The Zebra Swallowtail butterflies are particularly drawn to feed on Verbena bonariensis, a South American native that naturalizes extremely well in our garden. 


Verbena proves a tough, useful genus of flowering plants for many garden situations.   I want to share this post about Verbena again because I am so pleased with how the Verbena is drawing in the butterflies this year.

Because it is very heat and drought tolerant, Verbenas are a good choice as our summers grow hotter.  The plants are very beautiful, pump out the flowers continually, and provide lots of nectar for pollinators.  The foliage is disease resistant, and coarse enough that deer and rabbits leave Verbenas strictly alone.

I hope that sharing this post again will inspire other gardeners to try some new types of Verbena in their own gardens this summer.


Forest Garden


A winning combination:  Dependable, easy to grow,  attracts butterflies and other pollinators, grows well with others.  Verbena bonariensis endears itself to my gardener’s heart a little more with each passing summer.



I bought my first few on a whim as little plugs from Brent and Becky’s Bulbs several years ago.  I had admired this Verbena growing in their display garden both for the clear lovely color of the flower, and for its obvious popularity with the winged nectar loving set.  I didn’t know quite what to expect, but I planted the plugs into slightly raised, full sun beds with confidence that something interesting would grow.

I had grown other Verbenas, of course, before trying this very tall, perennial variety.  I still pick up a few annual Verbenas for my pots and baskets each year.  They produce non-stop flowers all summer, take full sun, shrug off July and…

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About woodlandgnome

Lifelong teacher and gardener.

One response to “Blossom XLVIII: Verbena

  1. This is the verbena that almost naturalized at the farm. Someone who lived there planted it. The following year, it had self sown over a large area. By the second year, it really seemed like it was becoming a problem. However, there was progressively less of it every years for the past many years, and it is now quite behaved back in the area where it was planted. I don’t know what happened.

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