Blue Vervain | Swamp Verbena | Wild Hyssop
Blue Vervain is a beautiful perennial flower that is beneficial to good insects and can also be made into a tea.
I do not have a lot of experience growing this herb yet. I was in a Permaculture Design Class (PDC) this past fall and one of the people there was an herbalist. She had a number of packets of seeds for sale and blue vervain was one of them. She explained to us what the seeds were and some of the benefits so I had to buy them. Below I will explain a little about this plant and will follow up later this year on how they did.
The botanical name is Verbena hastate. It is also known as swamp verbena, wild hyssop, wild vervain, and herb of grace. Blue vervain is native to the United States and is a perennial wildflower that grows from 2 to 5 feet tall. It is a self-seeding herbaceous perennial that is hardy to -40 degrees F making it hardy in USDA hardiness zones: 3 to 8.
Vervain has square green to reddish stems with opposite leaves that are up to 6″ long and 1″ across. It prefers moist conditions and full to partial sun.
This insect beneficial plant has purplish-blue flowers in mid to late summer, lasting about 1–1½ months. Each bloom is about 1/4 inch across and conspicuously lobed with no noticeable floral scent.
Verbena hastate can be propagated via seeds, rhizome spread, and cuttings.
Cold stratify for 90 days. Seeds need light to germinate, so press seeds into the surface soil and do not cover.
Propagation can be done via digging up suckers from rhizomes that spread out.
Propagate via cutting using 3 to 4 inch cutting.
Most sources online say to use the above ground parts, but there are a few sites that talk about using the rhizomes as well. The above-ground parts of the plant should be gathered before flowering and dried. Vervain must be picked before flowering and dried promptly to be effective
Traditionally used as a tea, but also as a tincture, syrup, foot soak or bath herb, salve or cream.
The seed are edible when roasted and are ground into a powder and used an Indian flour.
According to Organic Facts dot net, blue vervain has a number of health benefits. They say that it can help to eliminate toxins from the system, can help relieve respiratory irritation, and nervous disorders, chronic anxiety, stress, and sleeplessness. They go on to talk about the anti-parasitic activity, female tonic, oral health and pain relief. (1) *
According to the USDA website, blue vervain is used internally to treat depression, fevers, coughs, cramps, jaundice, and headaches. Externally, it is used for acne, ulcers, and cuts. (2) *
Check out the link in the sources section for details.
* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
A vervain tea can be made by steeping 1 tablespoon dried Blue Vervain leaves, roots and flower in 2 cups of hot water for 8 to 10 minutes.
(3) Picture: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Fritzflohrreynolds
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