Feb. 8, 2018

blue vervain, Verbena hastata

I was bewitched by this patch of blue vervain. In merry olde England, I would have hung a bouquet of vervain and dill with a horseshoe over the door. Vervain was hoped to have the power to keep witches away, and perversely was commonly an ingredient in their brews. Commonly gathered by simplers, or herbalists, vervains were also used in medicinal brews. This image misleads a little. The flowers are about a quarter inch, and the spikes elongate, producing a diffuse and not quite so eye-catching aspect. Blue vervain grows in slightly damp open areas in every state except AK and HI, and in every province except AB, LB, NF, NT, NU, PE, and YK. Monroe Co MI, 8/4/11.