Overview

Comprehensive Description

Comments

Among the Verbena spp. that are native to Illinois, Hoary Vervain is one of the showiest, even though it is sometimes considered an unwelcome weed in pastures. This vervain can be distinguished from similar species by its larger flowers and exceptionally hairy stems and leaves. Naturally occurring hybrids of Hoary Vervain with other Verbena spp. can occur, although they are relatively uncommon.  Return
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© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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Description

This short-lived perennial plant is up to 3½' tall, branching occasionally. The stems are light green to dull reddish purple and they are heavily covered with long white hairs. The opposite leaves are up to 4" long and 3" across; they are oval-ovate or obovate and coarsely serrated along the margins. The whitish green leaves are covered with fine white hairs (especially on their lower sides), and they are either sessile or have short petioles. In addition to the pinnate venation, each leaf has a reticulated network of smaller veins. The upper stems terminate in hairy floral spikes. These spikes are 1-8" long and densely crowded with pink or lavender flowers (usually the latter). The floral spikes bloom from the bottom up; relatively few flowers are in bloom at the same time. Each flower is about ¼" across or a little wider, consisting of a short corolla with a narrow opening and 5 spreading lobes, a small calyx with narrow teeth, and the reproductive organs.  The calyx is grayish green to reddish purple and hairy. There is no floral scent. The blooming period occurs from mid- to late summer, and lasts about 1½ months. Four brown nutlets are produced per flower. The root system consists of a taproot, which may tiller from the base (sending up multiple stems). This plant reproduces by reseeding itself. Cultivation
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© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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Distribution

Range and Habitat in Illinois

The native Hoary Vervain occurs in almost every county of Illinois. It is fairly common, although possibly less so than in the past (see Distribution Map). Habitats include upland prairies, gravel prairies, hill prairies, barrens with stunted shrubby vegetation, limestone glades, overgrazed pastures, abandoned fields, the grassy shoulders of highway overpasses, and areas along railroads. Hoary Vervain favors low grassy areas with a history of disturbance, particularly from grazing. Faunal Associations
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© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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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

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Ecology

Habitat

Range and Habitat in Illinois

The native Hoary Vervain occurs in almost every county of Illinois. It is fairly common, although possibly less so than in the past (see Distribution Map). Habitats include upland prairies, gravel prairies, hill prairies, barrens with stunted shrubby vegetation, limestone glades, overgrazed pastures, abandoned fields, the grassy shoulders of highway overpasses, and areas along railroads. Hoary Vervain favors low grassy areas with a history of disturbance, particularly from grazing. Faunal Associations
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© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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Associations

Flower-Visiting Insects of Hoary Vervain in Illinois

Verbena stricta (Hoary Vervain)
(Bees usually suck nectar, but sometimes collect pollen; other insects suck nectar; most observations are from Robertson, otherwise they are from Reed, Hilty, and Krombein et al. as indicated below)

Bees (long-tongued)
Apidae (Apinae): Apis mellifera sn fq (Rb, Re); Apidae (Bombini): Bombus affinis (Re), Bombus auricomus sn, Bombus bimaculatus sn, Bombus fraternus sn, Bombus griseocallis sn (Rb, Re), Bombus impatiens sn fq, Bombus pensylvanica sn, Bombus vagans sn, Psithyrus citrinus sn, Psithyrus variabilis sn; Anthophoridae (Ceratinini): Ceratina calcarata sn, Ceratina dupla dupla sn cp fq; Anthophoridae (Epeolini): Epeolus bifasciatus sn, Triepeolus concavus sn fq, Triepeolus cressonii cressonii sn fq, Triepeolus donatus sn, Triepeolus lunatus concolor sn fq, Triepeolus lunatus lunatus sn fq, Triepeolus nevadensis sn, Triepeolus remigatus sn fq, Triepeolus simplex sn fq; Anthophoridae (Emphorini): Ptilothrix bombiformis sn; Anthophoridae (Eucerini): Anthedonia compta sn, Florilegus condigna sn cp fq, Melissodes agilis sn fq (Rb, Re), Melissodes bimaculata bimaculata sn fq icp, Melissodes coloradensis sn, Melissodes communis sn fq, Melissodes comptoides sn fq, Melissodes coreopsis sn, Melissodes denticulata sn fq icp, Melissodes rustica sn, Melissodes tepaneca sn, Melissodes trinodis sn, Peponapis pruinosa pruinosa sn, Svastra atripes atripes sn fq, Svastra obliqua obliqua sn fq, Synhalonia speciosa sn; Anthophoridae (Nomadini): Nomada affabilis sn, Nomada texana sn; Anthophoridae (Xylocopini): Xylocopa virginica sn; Megachilidae (Anthidinini): Anthidiellum notatum boreale sn, Anthidium psoraleae sn; Megachilidae (Coelioxini): Coelioxys alternata alternata sn fq, Coelioxys germana sn, Coelioxys modesta sn fq, Coelioxys octodentata sn, Coelioxys sayi sn; Megachilidae (Megachilini): Megachile brevis brevis sn fq, Megachile campanulae campanulae sn fq, Megachile inimica sayi sn fq, Megachile latimanus sn fq, Megachile mendica sn fq, Megachile parallela parallela sn, Megachile petulans sn fq, Megachile rugifrons sn, Megachile texana sn fq; Megachilidae (Osmiini): Ashmeadiella bucconis sn, Hoplitis pilosifrons sn cp

Bees (short-tongued)
Halictidae (Halictinae):Agapostemon sericea sn fq, Agapostemon splendens sn, Agapostemon texanus texanus sn, Agapostemon virescens sn fq, Augochlorella aurata sn, Augochlorella striata sn (Rb, Re), Halictus ligatus sn, Halictus rubicunda sn; Halictidae (Sphecodini): Sphecodes minor sn; Andrenidae (Panurginae): Calliopsis andreniformis sn, Calliopsis nebraskensis (Kr), Calliopsis verbenae sn cp fq icp olg

Wasps
Sphecidae (Bembicinae): Bembix americana; Sphecidae (Sphecinae): Ammophila kennedyi, Ammophila nigricans, Ammophila procera fq; Tiphiidae: Myzinum quinquecincta

Flies
Syrphidae (Sphecinae): Eristalis tenax, Pseudodoros clavatus; Nemestrinidae: Neorhynchocephalus sackenii fq; Bombyliidae: Bombylius atriceps, Exoprosopa fasciata fq, Exoprosopa fascipennis, Rhynchanthrax parvicornis fq, Systoechus vulgaris fq; Conopidae: Physocephala texana, Physocephala tibialis, Stylogaster biannulata fq, Stylogaster neglecta, Zodion fulvifrons, Zodion obliquefasciatum

Butterflies
Nymphalidae: Danaus plexippus, Euptoieta claudia, Phyciodes tharos, Speyeria cybele, Vanessa cardui (Re); Lycaenidae: Celastrina argiolus, Everes comyntas, Strymon melinus; Pieridae: Colias sp. (Re), Colias philodice, Eurema lisa, Phoebis sennae, Pieris rapae fq (Rb, H), Pontia protodice; Papilionidae: Battus philenor, Papilio marcellus, Papilio troilus

Skippers
Hesperiidae: Anatrytone logan fq (Rb, Re), Ancyloxypha numitor, Atalopedes campestris, Epargyreus clarus fq, Erynnis baptisiae, Erynnis juvenalis, Erynnis martialis, Pholisora catullus, Polites peckius, Polites themistocles fq, Staphylus hayhurstii fq, Thorybes bathyllus

Moths
Sphingidae: Hemaris diffinis (Rb, Re)

Beetles
Cantharidae: Chauliognathus pennsylvanicus (Re)

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In Great Britain and/or Ireland:
Foodplant / parasite
Podosphaera xanthii parasitises live Verbena stricta

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Verbena stricta

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 2
Specimens with Barcodes: 2
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

Canada

Rounded National Status Rank: NNR - Unranked

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: N5 - Secure

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure

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