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Purple Prairie Verbena ( Glandularia bipinnatifida )
The Purple Prairie Verbena is native to the United States. Its distribution ranges from South Dakota all the way to Nicaragua. The Spanish name for the plant is, “Moradilla”, which means “Little Purple One”. The plant has many other common names which vary by State, such as, Dakota vervain, Prairie Verbena, Dakota mock vervain, just to name a few. Blooming occurs from March through October. It is drought tolerant. The plant is extremely hearty and is resistant to animals, insects, and herbicides. Although very beautiful, once established in an area, it is almost impossible to get rid of.
The Purple Prairie Verbena provides nectar and for pollinators such as honey bees, hummingbirds, and butterflies. The main uses for the Prairie Verbena are in ornamental gardening, but it is also possible to extract natural dyes from it. The process for extracting dye from this and many other plants can be found in the book “Edible and Useful Plants of Texas and the Southwest“.
There are some ethnic herbal remedies that call for the use of the verbena to treat anxiety and digestive stress. No medical evidence exists to validate its effectiveness in treating these or other illnesses.
For more information on Texas wildflowers, check out the following books.
Wildflowers of Texas
Texas Wildflowers: A Field Guide
Wild Edible Plants of Texas
More photos of the Purple Prairie Verbena