IUCN threat status:

Not evaluated

Comprehensive Description

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Purpletop Vervain is a lanky plant with brilliantly colored flowers that are fragrant. Because these flowers attract the Monarch, Red Admiral, Checkerspots, and other butterflies, it is a good choice for the butterfly garden. While this species is regarded as invasive in some areas of the United States, it appears to prefer highly disturbed areas in Illinois, rather than high quality natural habitats. Sometimes Purpletop Vervain is incorrectly referred to as 'Brazilian Vervain,' which corresponds to another South American species, Verbena brasiliensis. Brazilian Vervain has escaped from cultivation in southeastern United States, but there are no records of this species naturalizing in Illinois. Unlike Purpletop Vervain, Brazilian Vervain produces distinct cylindrical spikes of flowers within each floral cyme of the inflorescence (for a photographic comparison, see Brandenburg, 2010, p. 600).

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© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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