01 June 2011

Flora Focus: Verbena

When our landscape designer drew some verbena on our landscaping plan, all I knew was that "lemon verbena" was the name of the paint color in the office:

Google now tells me that lemon verbena is a lemon-scented herb that is used in tea and various foods. Its leaves aren't too far from the color of the office, I guess:

(Picture from superherbs.net.)

Maybe that's the kind of verbena that was intended for our landscaping -- I do love lemon -- but we've been in buy-plant-ask questions later mode throughout most of the landscaping project, so we went with two flowering varieties that we found at the nursery -- Hill Country and Homestead Purple. Maxing out around a foot tall, neither one is going to be nearly as big as lemon verbena's 3-4' height. We like the Hill Country variety better, both because of the truer purple color and also because it has filled out with dozens of these little clusters of flowers:

The Homestead Purple is very similar (although more pink and less purple), but the plants only have two shoots, and one of the plants is struggling to re-flower. It's still pretty, though:

We're glad to have been introduced to these pretty little flowers, but gosh, plants are such a mystery to me....

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