In 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.
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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