Verbena bonariensis

Verbena bonariensis

Butterfly-attracting Verbena bonariensis (ht 1 - 1.5m) from South America is regarded as a weed by some gardeners, but few other plants have the airy, ethereal grace of its tall skinny stems topped with dainty lilac-purple posies. It is very different from the usual bedding Verbena plant.

Verbena bonariensis

It flowers throughout summer and autumn and gives a relaxed, uncontrived look to the garden. It looks best at the front edge of a border, to break the monotony of low plantings without obscuring other plants behind it. It also looks effective grown with ornamental grasses to create a meadowy look. It will grow simply anywhere, in any soil, but does best in full sun. If tip-pruned when young, it will branch out well. I also cut mine back by half periodically through summer, which gives them a new lease of life. Though regarded as an annual, it is technically a perennial and some plants survive through winter in Sydney - but there are also plenty of new seedlings each year, so I pull old plants out when they become very scruffy. Cut stems will last well in a vase and buds will continue to open. It can be grown from cuttings.

This plant is attractive to butterflies.

Flowers in January, February, March, November, December.

 Out now in my Sydney Garden.