:"This article is about the plant of genus "Verbena". For other plants called "verbenas", see below. For other meanings, see Verbena (disambiguation).":"Vervain" redirects here. For other uses, see Vervain (disambiguation)."Taxobox
name = "Verbena"

image_width = 240px
image_caption = Purpletop Vervain, "Verbena bonariensis"
regnum = Plantae
divisio = Magnoliophyta
classis = Magnoliopsida
subclassis = Asteridae
unranked_ordo = Euasterids I
ordo = Lamiales
familia = Verbenaceae
genus = "Verbena"
genus_authority = RuizVerify source|date=November 2007
subdivision_ranks = Species
subdivision = See text

"Verbena" (verbenas or vervains) is a genus in the family Verbenaceae. It contains about 250 species of annual and perennial herbaceous or semi-woody flowering plants. The majority of the species are native to the New World from Canada south to southern Chile, but some are also native in the Old World, mainly in Europe. These include Common Vervain ("V. officinalis") and "V. supina".

The leaves are usually opposite, simple, and in many species hairy, often densely so. The flowers are small, with five petals, and borne in dense spikes. Typically some shade of blue, they may also be white, pink, or purple, especially in cultivars.

The genus can be divided into a diploid North American and a polyploid South American lineage, both with a base chromosome number of 7. The European species derived from the North American lineage. It seems that "Verbena" as well as the related mock vervains ("Glandularia") evolved from the assemblage provisionally treated under the genus name "Junellia"; both other genera were usally included in the Verbenaceae until the 1990s [Botta "et al." (1995)] . Intergeneric chloroplast gene transfer by an undetermined mechanism – though probably not hybridization – has occurred at least twice from vervains to "Glandularia", once between the ancestors of the present-day South American lineages and once more recently, between "V. orcuttiana" or Swamp Verbena ("V. hastata") and "G. bipinnatifida". In addition, several species of "Verbena" are of natural hybrid origin; the well-known Garden Vervain has an entirely muddy history. The relationships of this close-knit group are therefore hard to resolve with standard methods of computational phylogenetics. [Yuan & Olmstead (2008)]

Ecology and human uses

Some species, hybrids and cultivars of vervain are used as ornamental plants. They are valued in butterfly gardening in suitable climates, attracting Lepidoptera such as the Hummingbird Hawk-moth ("Macroglossum stellatarum"), Chocolate Albatross ("Appias lyncida"), or the Pipevine Swallowtail ("Battus philenor"), and also hummingbirds. Especially Common Vervain ("V. officinalis") is also grown as a honey plant.

For some vervain pathogens, see List of verbena diseases. Cultivated vervains are sometimes parasitized by Sweet potato whitefly ("Bemisia tabaci") and spread this pest to other crops.

Vervain has longstanding use in herbalism and folk medicine, usually as a herbal tea. Nicholas Culpeper's 1652 "The English Physitian" discusses folk uses. Among others effects, it may act as a galactagogue and possibly sex steroid analogue. It is one of the original 38 Bach flower remedies, prescribed against "over-enthusiasm"Fact|date=November 2007. The plants are also sometimes used as abortifacient.

Compounds that have been identified in vervains include β-myrcene, verbenone, caffeic acid (and derivatives) and indeterminateVerify source|date=November 2007 glycosides.Fact|date=November 2007

The essential oil of various species - mainly Common Vervain - is traded as Spanish Verbena oil. Considered inferior to oil of Lemon Verbena ("Aloysia citrodora") in perfumery, it is of some commercial importance for herbalism and it seems to be a promising source of medical compounds. "Verveine", the famous green liqueur from the region of Le Puy-en-Velay (France) is flavored with vervains.

Vervains in human culture

:"See also Verbena (disambiguation)""Verbena" has long been associated with divine and other supernatural forces. It was called "tears of Isis" in Ancient Egypt, and later on "Juno's tears". In Ancient Greece, it was dedicated to Eos Erigineia. In the early Christian era, folk legend stated that Common Vervain ("V. officinalis") was used to staunch Jesus' wounds after his removal from the cross. It was consequently called "Holy Herb" or (e.g. in Wales) "Devil's bane"Verify source|date=November 2007 .

Other legends held it that vervain protects people from vampires, by mixing it in a herbal tea, keeping it near you, or using oil extracted from it in a bath. Vervain flowers are engraved on "cimaruta", Italian anti-"stregheria" charms. In the 1870 "The History and Practice of Magic" by "Paul Christian" (Jean Baptiste Pitois) it is employed in the preparation of a mandragora charmFact|date=November 2007 .

While Common Vervain is not native to North America, it has been introduced there and for example the Pawnee have adopted it as an entheogen enhancer and in oneiromancy, much like "Calea zacatechichi" is used in Mexico.

The generic name is the Ancient Roman term for sacrificial herbs considered very powerful. Pliny the Elder describes "verbena" presented on Jupiter altars; it is not entirely clear if this referred to a "Verbena" rather than the general term for prime sacrificial herbs.Verify source|date=November 2007

The common names of Common Vervain in many Central and Eastern Europes languages often associate it with iron. These include for example the Dutch "IJzerhard" ("iron-hardener"), Danish "Læge-Jernurt" ("medical ironwort"), German "Echtes Eisenkraut" ("true ironherb"), and Slovenian "Železník lekársky" ("medical ironherb").

In "hanakotoba" (花言葉, Japanese flower-language), vervains are called "bijozakura" (美女桜 ["Pretty-lady cherryblossom". The usual contemporary Japanese name of vervains is "bābena" (バーベナ), a transliteration of "verbena".] ) and are a symbol of cooperativeness. In Western culture, they are the birthday flower of July 29.

An indeterminate vervainVerify source|date=November 2007 is among the plants on the eighth panel of the New World Tapestry ("Expedition to Cape Cod"), embroidered in 1602/03.

According to the William Faulkner short story "An Odor of Verbena", vervain is the only scent that can be smelled above the scent of horses and courage.

elected species [USDA (2004)]

:"See also "Aloysia", "Glandularia" and "Junellia" for species formerly placed here."
* "Verbena alata" Cham.
* "Verbena andalgalensis" Moldenke
* "Verbena atacamensis" Reiche
* "Verbena australis" Moldenke
* "Verbena balansae" Briq.
* "Verbena bangiana" Moldenke
* "Verbena berterii" (Meisn.) Schauer
** "Verbena berterii" f. "albiflora" Moldenke
** "Verbena berterii" f. "berterii"
* "Verbena bonariensis" L. – Purpletop Vervain, Clustertop Vervain, Tall Verbena, Pretty Verbena, "South American vervain", "purpletop"
* "Verbena bracteata" Lag. & Rodr. – Large-bracted Vervain
* "Verbena brasiliensis" – Brazilian Verbena, Brazilian Vervain
* "Verbena californica" – California Vervain, Red Hills Vervain
* "Verbena canescens" Kunth
* "Verbena caniuensis" Moldenke
* "Verbena carnea" Medik.
* "Verbena carolina" L.
* "Verbena carollata" Briq.
* "Verbena catamarcensis" Moldenke
* "Verbena chacensis" Moldenke
* "Verbena clavata" Ruiz & Pav.
* "Verbena cloverae" Moldenke
* "Verbena cochabambensis" Moldenke
* "Verbena concepcionis" Moldenke
* "Verbena cumingii" Moldenke
* "Verbena cuneifolia" Ruiz & Pav.
* "Verbena × deamii"
* "Verbena delicatula" Mart. & Zucc.
* "Verbena demissa"
* "Verbena ehrenbergiana" Schauer
* "Verbena × engelmannii"
* "Verbena ephedroides" Cham.
** "Verbena ephedroides" var. "entreriensis" Tronc.
** "Verbena ephedroides" var. "ephedroides"
* "Verbena fasciculata" Benth.
* "Verbena ferreyrae" Moldenke
* "Verbena filicaulis" Schauer
* "Verbena gentryi" Moldenke
* "Verbena glabrata" Kunth
* "Verbena glutinosa" Kuntze
* "Verbena goyazensis" Moldenke
* "Verbena gracilescens" (Cham.) Herter
* "Verbena gracilis" Desf.
* "Verbena grisea" B.L.Rob. & Greenm.
* "Verbena halei" – Texas Vervain Small Munir (sometimes included in "V. officinalis")
* "Verbena hastata" – Swamp Verbena, Blue Vervain
* "Verbena hayekii" Moldenke
* "Verbena hintonii" Moldenke
* "Verbena hirta" Spreng.
* "Verbena hispida" Ruiz & Pav.
* "Verbena imbricata" Wooton & Standl.
* "Verbena inamoena" Briq.
* "Verbena intermedia" Gillies & Hook.
** "Verbena intermedia" f. "albiflora" Moldenke
** "Verbena intermedia" f. "intermedia"
** "Verbena intermedia" var. "intermedia"
** "Verbena intermedia" var. "lanuginosa" Moldenke
* "Verbena johnstonii" (Moldenke) G. L. Nesom
* "Verbena kuhlmannii" Moldenke
* "Verbena landbeckii" Phil.
* "Verbena lasiostachys" Link
* "Verbena lindbergi" Moldenke
* "Verbena lindmanii" Briq.
* "Verbena litoralis" Kunth
* "Verbena lobata" Vell.
* "Verbena longifolia" M.Martens & Galeotti
* "Verbena lucanensis" Moldenke
* "Verbena macdougalii" A.Heller
* "Verbena macrodonta" L.M.Perry
* "Verbena malmii" Moldenke
* "Verbena menthifolia" Benth.
* "Verbena minutiflora" Briq.
* "Verbena montevidensis" Spreng.
* "Verbena monticola" Moldenke
* "Verbena multiglandulosa" Moldenke
* "Verbena neomexicana" (A.Gray) Small
** "Verbena neomexicana" var. "hirtella" L.M.Perry</small>
** "Verbena neomexicana" var. "neomexicana"
** "Verbena neomexicana" var. "xylopoda" L.M.Perry
* "Verbena nivea" Moldenke
* "Verbena occulta" Moldenke
* "Verbena officinalis" &ndash; Common Vervain, Simpler's Joy, Holy Herb, "mosquito plant", "wild hyssop"
* "Verbena orcuttiana" L.M.Perry
* "Verbena ovata" Cham.
* "Verbena paraguariensis" Moldenke
* "Verbena paranensis" Moldenke
* "Verbena parvula" Hayek
* "Verbena paulensis" Moldenke
* "Verbena paulsenii" Phil.
* "Verbena pedicellata" Moldenke
* "Verbena perennis" Wooton
* "Verbena × perriana"
* "Verbena pinetorum" Moldenke
* "Verbena plicata" Greene
* "Verbena polycephala" Turcz.
* "Verbena porrigens" Phil.
* "Verbena pseudojuncea" Gay
* "Verbena ramboi" Moldenke
* "Verbena ramulosa" Phil.
* "Verbena recta" Kunth
* "Verbena rectiloba" Moldenke
* "Verbena regnelliana" Moldenke
* "Verbena reineckii" Moldenke
* "Verbena reitzii" Moldenke
* "Verbena ribifolia" Walp.
* "Verbena rigida" Spreng.
** "Verbena rigida" var. "obovata" (Hayek) Moldenke
** "Verbena rigida" var. "rigida"
* "Verbena riparia" Raf. ex Small & A. Heller
* "Verbena robusta" Greene
* "Verbena runyonii" Moldenke
* "Verbena russellii" Moldenke
* "Verbena × rydbergii"
* "Verbena scabra" Vahl
* "Verbena scabrella" Sessé & Moc.
* "Verbena sedula" Moldenke
* "Verbena simplex" Lehm. &ndash; Narrow-leaved Vervain
* "Verbena spartioides" Turcz.
* "Verbena speciosa"Verify source|date=August 2008
* "Verbena sphaerocarpa" L.M.Perry
* "Verbena storeoclada" Briq.
* "Verbena stricta" Vent. &ndash; Hoary Vervain
* "Verbena strigosa" Cham.
* "Verbena subuligera" Greene
* "Verbena supina" L.
* "Verbena swiftiana" Moldenke
* "Verbena tecticaulis" Tronc.
* "Verbena tessmannii" Moldenke
* "Verbena teucroides"Verify source|date=August 2008
* "Verbena thymoides" Cham.
* "Verbena tomophylla" Briq.
* "Verbena townsendii" Svenson
* "Verbena trachea" Phil.
* "Verbena trifida" Kunth
* "Verbena triphylla" L.Verify source|date=August 2008
* "Verbena triternata" Phil.
* "Verbena urticifolia" &ndash; White Vervain
* "Verbena valerianoides" Kunth
* "Verbena variabilis" Moldenke
* "Verbena villifolia" Hayek
* "Verbena weberbaueri" Hayek
* "Verbena xutha" Lehm.

ee also

* Other "verbenas"/"vervains" of the family Verbenaceae:
** Lemon Verbena, "Aloysia citrodora" ["Lippia citrodora" is an obsolete name still often seen.]
** Mock verbenas, genus "Glandularia"
** Pineapple Verbena, "Nashia inaguensis"
** Shrub verbenas, genus "Lantana"
* Unrelated floweriung plants called "verbenas"/"vervains":
** Sand-verbenas, genus "Abronia"
** Sweet Verbena-tree or -myrtle, "Backhousia citriodora"
* Unrelated plants whose scientific names refer to "Verbena":
** Crownbeard, the genus "Verbesina"
** "Cordia verbenacea"
** Wild Clary, "Salvia verbenaca"
* Arthur B. Howard



* (1995): Novedades nomenclaturales en Verbenaceae ["Nomenclatural revisions in Verbenaceae"] . "Hickenia" 2: 127-128.
* (2004): Germplasm Resources Information Network - [ "Verbena"] . Version of 2004-JAN-29. Retrieved 2008-AUG-07.
* (2008): A species-level phylogenetic study of the "Verbena" complex (Verbenaceae) indicates two independent intergeneric chloroplast transfers. "Mol. Phylogenet. Evol." 48(1): 23-33. doi|10.1016/j.ympev.2008.04.004 (HTML abstract)

Externals links

* [ Herb Teas and Old Remedies : Verbena] (fr.with translator)

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