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Verbena bonariensis

Higher Taxonomy
Family: VerbenaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: Annual to shrub [tree], generally hairy. Leaf: cauline, opposite, generally toothed; stipules 0. Inflorescence: raceme, spike, or head, generally elongated in fruit; bract generally 1 per flower. Flower: bisexual; calyx generally 4--5-toothed; corolla 4--5-lobed, radial to bilateral, salverform to 2-lipped; stamens 4--5 (if 4, generally in unequal pairs), epipetalous; ovary superior, 2- or 4-lobed, generally 2- chambered, style 1, often with 2 unequal lobes, only 1 stigmatic, lateral. Fruit: 2 or 4 nutlets, drupe-like, or capsule.
Genera In Family: +- 31 genera, +- 920 species: especially America tropics. Some cultivated (Lantana, Verbena, Vitex); some weedy worldwide (Lantana); some used for wood (Tectona, teak). Avicennia included in Acanthaceae.
eFlora Treatment Author: Dieter H. Wilken
Scientific Editor: Bruce G. Baldwin.
Genus: VerbenaView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Common Name: VERVAIN
Habit: Annual to perennial herb [shrub]. Stem: often 4-angled; hairs generally short, stiff. Leaf: reduced distally on stem; blade entire to pinnately lobed. Inflorescence: spike, often in panicle-like clusters, generally terminal, generally elongated in fruit. Flower: calyx 5-ribbed, 5-toothed, hairs generally strigose or appressed; corolla 4--5-lobed, generally +- radial, sometimes bilateral and 2-lipped; stamens 4; ovary 4-chambered, ovules 4, style 1, lobes 2, 1 tooth-like, 1 with +- spheric stigma. Fruit: nutlets 4, generally oblong.
Species In Genus: +- 250 species: temperate, tropical America, Mediterranean Europe. Etymology: (Latin: ancient name) Note: Verbena gooddingii, Verbena pulchella often placed in Glandularia (sister to Verbena in strictest sense).

Verbena bonariensis L.
Habit: Annual or biennial, 50--150+ cm. Stem: 1--few, erect, glabrous to sparsely rough-hairy, angles smooth to scabrous. Leaf: generally clasping, 7--15 cm, elliptic to lanceolate, coarsely serrate, scabrous, base cordate to truncate. Inflorescence: spikes (3)8--17 per cluster, spike in fruit 15--125 mm, +- 5--6 mm diam, dense; flower bract 3--3.5 mm. Flower: calyx 3--3.5 mm; corolla 5--6 mm, white or +- purple. Fruit: 1--1.5 mm.
Ecology: Disturbed, often wet places, fields; Elevation: < 200 m. Bioregional Distribution: s ScV, n SnJV, n SnFrB; Distribution Outside California: to southern United States; native to South America. Flowering Time: Jun--Oct
Synonyms: Verbena bonariensis var. bonariensis; Verbena bonariensis var. conglomerata Briq.; Verbena incompta P.W. Michael
eFlora Treatment Author: Dieter H. Wilken
Jepson Online Interchange

Previous taxon: Verbena
Next taxon: Verbena bracteata

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botanical illustration including Verbena bonariensis


Citation for this treatment: Dieter H. Wilken 2017. Verbena bonariensis, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on September 22, 2017.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2017. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on September 22, 2017.

Verbena bonariensis
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© 2009 Barry Rice
Verbena bonariensis
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© 2015 Barry Breckling
Verbena bonariensis
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© 2015 Barry Breckling

More photos of Verbena bonariensis in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Verbena bonariensis:
s ScV, n SnJV, n SnFrB;
Markers link to CCH specimen records. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues. Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).

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Data provided by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria.
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CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.