Family – Verbenaceae
Flowering – April – November.
Habitat – Marshes, hammocks, waste ground, old fields, disturbed sites, roadsides, railroads.
Origin – Native to South America.
Other information – This weedy, introduced species can be found throughout most of Alabama but is less common in the northern half of the state. The plant is easy to identify becasue of its square stems, opposite leaves, cylindric inflorescences, and tiny, purplish flowers. The plant is a very common roadside weed in southern Alabama.
The genus name Verbena is of an obscure derivation but is used to describe any plant used as a healing or sacred herb. The stems of Verbenas were made into wreaths for ritual and healing.
The species epithet refers to the origin of the plant. The Latin “ens(is)” meaning “belonging to” or “of”.
Photographs taken off Hwy 10, Mobile County, AL., 6-18-04.