Tom's Blog

Friday, July 25, 2008

Hoary vervain

Verbena stricta (hoary vervain) is widely seen in prairie remnants but never in large amounts. It is not an especially conservative plant (that is, with a narrow habitat range), and it is also a relatively common roadside plant. (However, don't knock roadsides too much; I have seen wood lilies growing along roadsides in northern Brown County, Wisconsin.) Because hoary vervain grows without much encouragement, those who value rare species tend to ignore it. However, it is very colorful and adds a distinct accent to a prairie remnant or planted prairie.

At Pleasant Valley Conservancy we find it scattered across our south-slope remnants but we also find it in virtually all of our savanna units. In neither habitat is it especially frequent, and there is obviously no danger of it "taking over", such as some other low coefficient plants might do. Although it is listed as a weed in Illinois, the Missouri folks not only like it but suggest encouraging it because of its nice color and large size.


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