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Herbaceous Perennial

Verbena bonariensis
  • RHS AGM
  • RHS Plants for pollinators

purple top

A tall herbaceous perennial with erect, branching stems to 2m in height, bearing sparse, oblong leaves. Numerous branched clusters of small, lilac-purple flowers appear from summer to autumn; these are a good nectar source for pollinating insects

Other common names
Argentinian vervain
South American vervain
see moretall verbena
Synonyms
Verbena bonariensis 'Buenos Aires'
Verbena brasiliensis misapplied
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Size
Ultimate height
1.5–2.5 metres
Time to ultimate height
2–5 years
Ultimate spread
0.1–0.5 metres
Growing conditions
Chalk
Loam
Sand
Moisture
Moist but well–drained, Well–drained
pH
Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Green
Summer Purple Green
Autumn Purple Green
Winter
Position
  • Full sun
Aspect

West–facing or South–facing

Exposure
Exposed or Sheltered
Hardiness
H4
Botanical details
Family
Verbenaceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Deciduous
Habit
Clump forming
Genus

Verbena can be annuals, perennials or sub-shrubs, with toothed or pinnately lobed leaves and small, usually 5-petalled, salver-shaped flowers, typically held in spikes or panicles, in summer or autumn

Name status

Correct

Plant range
South America

How to grow

Cultivation

Grow in moist but well-drained or well-drained, moderately fertile soil in full sun. In cold areas, protect with a dry winter mulch. May have the potential to become a nuisance due to prolific self-seeding if not well managed

Propagation

Propagate by seed in pots at 18-21°C in autumn to early spring or let it self-seed

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • Coastal
  • Gravel garden
  • City and courtyard gardens
  • Cottage and informal garden
  • Prairie planting
  • Wildlife gardens
  • Patio and container plants
  • Wall side borders
  • Flower borders and beds
Pruning

Cut down in spring as new growth emerges from the base; deadhead in autumn if seed is not required

Pests

May be susceptible to aphids, thrips and leafhoppers

Diseases

May be susceptible to powdery mildews

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