The Tall Purple Flower: a follow-up to my Journal Entry, 7/4/2018 blog

purple flower -maybe verbena - small version for blogIn my previous blog I wrote:

“Today we wander the hillside, admiring the Echinacea in bloom, the salsify, the height of the grass we never mow or graze. . . . Bluegrass, redgrass, a tall purple flower I can’t name. Delicate faces of blue flax that has escaped from my planted gardens, all blow gently in the breeze.”

Thanks to Cindy Reed, president of the Great Plains Native Plant Society which has its Great Plains Garden headquarters on my ranch, I’ve discovered the identity of the “tall purple flower” I see on my walk.

Here’s what Cindy says:

That’s a verbena, native throughout the Great Plains, and much of the remainder of the U.S. It is not uncommon at all, but not considered an invasive problem either.

Verbena stricta, or hoary verbena or simply verbena.

It is in full bloom right now, making purple drifts you can see from the highway.

Occasionally, this species produces individuals that have white flowers, and I dug a few of these here and there years ago, and now have white ones volunteering in our yard.

Purple verbena with purple prairie coneflower - small version for blog

Take a look at the Great Plains Native Plant Society website and Facebook page to learn when the Great Plains Garden will hold an open house, and plan to visit the garden this summer while plants are in bloom.

The variety will astonish you!

Linda M. Hasselstrom
Windbreak House Writing Retreats
Hermosa, South Dakota

© 2018, Linda M. Hasselstrom

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4 thoughts on “The Tall Purple Flower: a follow-up to my Journal Entry, 7/4/2018 blog

  1. Rosemary Carey

    I love knowing the names and a few facts about the wildflowers, shrubs, and trees around me – it’s personally enriching and makes communicating what I’m seeing so much easier. Learning the plants also led me to look at what’s pollinating them in the spring, and eating their berries or seeds in the summer. Observing nature is certainly one of the great pleasures of country life so thank you for the follow up with the plant’s name. Wishing you a lovely summer.

  2. Thank you, Rosemary Carey. I love knowing the names of the beings among which we live– plants, animals, even the rocks. I tell myself it’s not a way of being in control of them, but of getting acquainted with my fellow creatures. Respect, and love, May your summer be delightfully full of learning new things.

  3. Betsy Vinz

    Verbena, of course. I recognize it from the virgin prairie not far from Moorhead, a place we like to visit every couple of weeks to note new flowers and grasses. Pretty in summer, though I find it more interesting in the fall.

    Take care, Linda. Thank you for sharing the essays!

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