Verbena

All of our species are known to hybridize with one or more other species, but in Michigan only V. hastata × V. urticifolia is at all frequent. The corollas are normally some shade of blue to purple or white, with rose-colored forms occurring rarely.

1. Spikes (even excluding corollas) at least (8–) 12 mm thick; plant ± spreading-decumbent, with incised-pinnatifid leaves.

V. bracteata

1. Spikes (at least excluding corolla) less than 8 mm thick; plant stiffly erect, with leaves unlobed or lobed only at the base (pinnate only in V. officinalis).

2. Leaves linear-lanceolate, 5.5–12 times as long as broad, the blade less than 1.5 cm wide and tapering into ± indistinct petiole; plant glabrous or with scattered, mostly appressed stiff hairs.

V. simplex

2. Leaves ovate-lanceolate or broader, 1.3–6 (–6.3) times as long as broad, (1.3–) 2–6.5 cm wide, sessile to subsessile or mostly with distinct petiole; plant with hairs on stems and leaves numerous and/or ± spreading.

3. Leaves (except uppermost) deeply pinnately lobed or incised; flowers at maturity remote in spike; stem glabrous or sparsely scabrous.

V. officinalis

3. Leaves at most (V. hastata) with 1–2 lobes at base of the blade; flowers remote or crowded; stems glabrous or pubescent.

4. Plant ± densely hoary-pubescent; leaves sessile (or the lower subsessile on winged petioles), 1.3–3 times as long as broad; limb of corolla ca. 7–11 mm broad; calyx over 3.5 mm long.

V. stricta

4. Plant with more sparse pubescence, not hoary; leaves distinctly petioled, 2–6.3 times as long (including petiole) as broad; limb of corolla ca. 2.5–4 mm broad; calyx less than 3.5 mm long.

5. Spikes with flowers and fruit (except sometimes lowest ones) densely overlapping; corolla blue to purple (rarely rose), the limb ca. 2.8–4 mm broad; style 1–1.5 mm long, noticeably exceeding calyx after shedding of corolla; calyx 2.3–3 mm long; leaves often with 1–2 lobes at base of blade.

V. hastata

5. Spikes with flowers (except in bud) and fruit distinctly separated on the axis; corolla white, the limb ca. 2.5 mm or less broad; style ca. 0.4–0.6 mm long (or less), scarcely if at all exceeding calyx; calyx (1.5–) 1.8–2.3 (–2.5) mm long; leaves all unlobed.

V. urticifolia

All species found in Verbena

Verbena bracteataPROSTRATE VERVAIN, CREEPING VERVAIN 
Verbena hastataBLUE VERVAIN 
Verbena officinalisEUROPEAN VERVAIN 
Verbena simplexNARROW-LEAVED VERVAIN 
Verbena strictaHOARY VERVAIN 
Verbena urticifoliaWHITE VERVAIN 

Citation:

MICHIGAN FLORA ONLINE. A. A. Reznicek, E. G. Voss, & B. S. Walters. February 2011. University of Michigan. Web. October 19, 2017. http://michiganflora.net/genus.aspx?id=Verbena.