Overview

Comprehensive Description

Comments

Considering the large size of this plant, its flowers are remarkably small. The lanky branches of the inflorescence are rather long, however, and they sprawl in different directions. This makes the inflorescence difficult to photograph in its entirety. The scientific name of this plant refers to the resemblance of its leaves to those of Urtica spp. (nettles). White Vervain resembles two of its relatives, Verbena hastata (Blue Vervain) and Verbena officinalis (European Vervain). Blue Vervain has more narrow leaves and its flowers are conspicuously blue, rather than bright white. It is found in sunny wetland habitats more often than White Vervain. European Vervain has small flowers that are white or lavender. It differs from White Vervain primarily by its pinnatifid leaves, which have cleft lobes.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Description

This wildflower is an annual, biennial, or short-lived perennial about 3-6' tall; it branches occasionally in the upper half. The central stem is light green, stout, 4-angled, and densely covered with long spreading hairs. Along its length are pairs of opposite leaves up to 6" long and 2¼" across; they are lanceolate to ovate and coarsely serrated along their margins. The upper surface of each leaf is medium to dark green, shiny, hairless to slightly hairy, and wrinkled along the veins; its lower surface is light green and more hairy. The petioles of the leaves are up to 2" long. The central stem terminates in a panicle of floral spikes up to 2' long and half as much across; the upper side stems also terminate in such panicles, although they are smaller in size. Each panicle has narrow ascending branches (up to 6" long) and an airy appearance; sessile small flowers are sparsely distributed along each of these branches. Each flower is 1/8" across, consisting of a white corolla with 5 rounded lobes and a tubular green calyx with 5 lanceolate teeth. The blooming period occurs from mid-summer to early fall and lasts about 1½ months. Only a few flowers bloom at the same time. Each flower is replaced by 4 nutlets that are oblongoid and flattened. This wildflower reproduces by reseeding itself. Cultivation
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Distribution

Range and Habitat in Illinois

The native White Vervain occurs in every county of Illinois and it is quite common (see Distribution Map). Habitats include open disturbed woodlands, woodland borders, thickets, powerline clearances in wooded areas, semi-shaded areas along paths, damp meadows along streams, gravelly seeps, and abandoned fields. White Vervain is usually found in habitats with a history of disturbance. It is somewhat weedy, but rarely forms colonies, existing primarily as scattered individual plants.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

National Distribution

Canada

Origin: Unknown/Undetermined

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Unknown/Undetermined

Confidence: Confident

United States

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Ecology

Habitat

Range and Habitat in Illinois

The native White Vervain occurs in every county of Illinois and it is quite common (see Distribution Map). Habitats include open disturbed woodlands, woodland borders, thickets, powerline clearances in wooded areas, semi-shaded areas along paths, damp meadows along streams, gravelly seeps, and abandoned fields. White Vervain is usually found in habitats with a history of disturbance. It is somewhat weedy, but rarely forms colonies, existing primarily as scattered individual plants.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Associations

Faunal Associations

The nectar and pollen of the flowers attract long-tongued bees (honeybees, bumblebees, Little Carpenter bees, Cuckoo bees, Digger bees, & Large Leaf-Cutting bees), short-tongued bees (Halictid bees, & Dagger bees, including Calliopsis verbenae), various flies (Syrphid flies, Bee flies, Thick-Headed flies, & Tachinid flies), small butterflies, and wasps. These insects cross-pollinate the flowers. Insects that feed on the foliage and other parts of White Vervain and other Verbena spp. (Vervains) include the larvae of Crambodes talidiformis (Verbena Moth), Longitarsus suspectus (Flea Beetle sp.), larvae of Clinodiplosis verbenae (Vervain Leaf Midge), Macrosiphum verbenae (Verbena Aphid), and Melanoplus bivittatus (Two-striped Grasshopper). The seeds are eaten occasionally by various granivorous songbirds, including the Slate-Colored Junco, Field Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Swamp Sparrow, Tree Sparrow, and White-Crowned Sparrow. In contrast, the bitter coarse foliage is rarely used as a food source by White-Tailed Deer and other mammalian herbivores.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Flower-Visiting Insects of White Vervain in Illinois

Verbena urticifolia (White Vervain)
(Bees usually suck nectar and less often collect pollen; other insects suck nectar; most observations are from Robertson, otherwise they are from Krombein et al. and Graenicher as indicated below)

Bees (long-tongued)
Apidae (Apinae): Apis mellifera sn; Apidae (Bombini): Bombus impatiens sn, Bombus pensylvanica sn; Anthophoridae (Ceratinini): Ceratina dupla dupla sn cp; Anthophoridae (Epeolini): Epeolus bifasciatus sn, Triepeolus cressonii cressonii sn, Triepeolus lunatus concolor sn; Anthophoridae (Eucerini): Melissodes bimaculata bimaculata sn; Anthophoridae (Nomadini): Nomada texana sn; Megachilidae (Coelioxini): Coelioxys sayi sn fq; Megachilidae (Megachilini): Megachile brevis brevis sn, Megachile mendica sn; Megachilidae (Trypetini): Heriades leavitti sn

Bees (short-tongued)
Halictidae (Halictinae): Agapostemon sericea sn fq, Augochlora purus purus sn, Augochlorella aurata sn fq, Augochlorella striata sn fq, Augochloropsis metallica metallica sn, Halictus confusus sn fq, Halictus ligatus sn fq, Halictus rubicunda sn fq, Lasioglossum nelumbonis sn, Lasioglossum pectoralis sn, Lasioglossum pilosus pilosus sn, Lasioglossum versatus sn; Colletidae (Colletinae): Colletes nudus (Kr); Andrenidae (Panurginae): Calliopsis andreniformis sn cp fq (Rb, Kr), Calliopsis nebraskensis (Kr), Calliopsis verbenae sn cp fq icp olg

Wasps
Sphecidae (Sphecinae): Ammophila kennedyi, Eremnophila aureonotata icp; Tiphiidae: Myzinum quinquecincta; Scoliidae: Scolia bicincta

Flies
Syrphidae: Pseudodoros clavatus (Rb, Gr), Sphaerophoria contiqua, Syritta pipiens fq, Toxomerus geminatus; Empididae: Empis clausa; Bombyliidae: Chrysanthrax cypris, Exoprosopa fascipennis, Systropus macer, Toxophora amphitea; Conopidae: Stylogaster neglecta, Thecophora occidensis, Zodion obliquefasicatum; Tachinidae: Archytas analis, Clausicella geniculata fq, Copecrypta ruficauda fq, Gymnoclytia occidua, Phasia purpurascens, Spallanzania hesperidarum; Calliphoridae: Cochliomyia macellaria

Butterflies
Nymphalidae: Phyciodes tharos; Lycaenidae: Everes comyntas fq, Strymon melinus; Pieridae: Eurema lisa, Pieris rapae, Pontia protodice

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

General Ecology

Urban Ecology

This species is included in the New York Metropolitan Flora Project of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. Click here more information, including a distribution map for the metro NY area http://nymf.bbg.org/species/1558.

This species is grown by the Greenbelt Native Plants Center on Staten Island, NY. This facility is part of the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation and its purpose is to support and promote the use of native species in planting projects. For more information, go to: http://www.nycgovparks.org/greening/greenbelt-native-plant-center.

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© O'Donnell, Kelly

Source: Urban Flora of NYC

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Verbena urticifolia

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 3
Specimens with Barcodes: 4
Species With Barcodes: 1
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© Barcode of Life Data Systems

Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

Canada

Rounded National Status Rank: NNR - Unranked

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: N5 - Secure

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Research Use

There are not many published studies that specifically examine V. urticifolia. There is a report of this species hybridizing with other members of the Verbena genus (Poindexter 1962). It has been included in a survey of root systems (Cole and Holch 1941) and a variety of general species surveys.

Cole HE and AE Holch. 1941. The root habits of certain weeds of southeastern Nebraska. Ecology. 22(2): 141-147.

Poindexter, JD. 1962. Natural hybridization among Verbena stricta, V. hastata, and V. urticifolia in Kansas. Transactions of the Kansas Academy of Science. 65(4):409-419.

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© O'Donnell, Kelly

Source: Urban Flora of NYC

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Wikipedia

Verbena urticifolia

Verbena urticifolia (white vervain) is a herbaceous plant in the vervain family (Verbenaceae). It belongs to the "true" vervains of genus Verbena.

The Urtica-like leaves were the reason for the scientific name urticifolia.

White Vervain has opposite, simple leaves on thin, rigid, green stems. The leaves look similar to those of Urtica, which is the reason for the plant being named urticifolia. The small flowers are borne in spikes; they open in summer and unusually for this normally bluish-flowered genus are white.

It might be closest to a group that might include such North American species as V. lasiostachys or V. menthifolia, and the Common Vervain (V. officinalis) from Europe. As these, it is diploid with 14 chromosomes altogether. The relationship of the Swamp Verbena (V. hastata) to these species is more enigmatic; its evolution might have involved hybridization with the White Vervain or a related species in the past.[1]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ Yuan & Olmstead (2008)

References[edit]


Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Source: Wikipedia

Unreviewed

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Disclaimer

EOL content is automatically assembled from many different content providers. As a result, from time to time you may find pages on EOL that are confusing.

To request an improvement, please leave a comment on the page. Thank you!