Verbena x hybrida

Verbena x hybrida La France

Verbena x hybrida cultivars include mat-forming groundcover plants that are useful for carpeting dry, sunny spots in the garden. Throughout summer and autumn, they are smothered in posies of tiny flowers, which come in many different colours, including white, burgundy, pinks, scarlet, apricot, purple and mauve. Some have flowers with a white eye. The foliage is hairy and somewhat fern-like; some cultivars have very finely divided leaves.

White form of Verbena x hybrida

As they are frost sensitive, they are often grown as annuals (often in hanging baskets or pots) in cool climates, but in Sydney many are quite perennial. I cut them back fairly hard at the end of August and they generally regrow. The dead flowers can be removed from time to time to neaten the plant. Avoid over-fertilising the plants, as this may produce excessive leaf growth rather than more flowers. Propagation is by division or intermodal cuttings (i.e. cut between the nodes rather than just under them to make a cutting). Verbena belongs to the Verbenaceae family of plants, which includes Duranta and Petrea.

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