Saturday, May 18, 2013

Two Kinds of Vervain and a Wildflower that I am no longer calling a Penstemon.

What is this wildflower? I am not going to call it a Penstemon any more, nor am I believing that it is a ruellia. That is not a petunia flower. Petunia blooms have thin, pointed bases. I will just call it 'the little flower that blooms in May in the north pasture near the woods.'

I carried a card to put behind the plant so the background didn't confuse.

In its sandy habitat.
What I've been calling Vernonia turns out to be a Verbena of some kind, but not V. bonariensis if what I was given as Verbena on a Stick is the right one. It resembles V. hastata but is not exactly like what is in my books. There may be 25 kinds of Verbena, according to my Little Golden Book. My Audobon Field Guide was little help, either. This must be a common one, it's all over the wilder parts of the farm, in fence rows and meadows.
Anyway, here's a look at the one in the garden on the left and the one in the meadow on the right.
The foliage is similar but not identical.
Verbena bonariensis
Verbena species, in the wild.
A last look at the little wildflower, only about 6 inches tall.
Not prostrate, not trailing.
I fail to see that the flower from Hawthorn Hill is identical to my  pictures above.
The leaves are different, the base of the bloom is different, the markings are different. 

By the Way, I saw butterflies today. Two Pipevine butterflies were on Catchfly, and a tattered American Painted Lady.

Before I went to the fields to make pictures of the Verbena, I saw a dark moth of some kind on the damp driveway after the shower of rain we had. It wasn't enough rain to measure, but I am grateful for any amount. I'm glad to see butterflies returning.


  1. Lovely little blooms, and I love the butterflies. I look forward to going out this morning to see what is going on in the gardens.

    Have a nice Sunday Nell ~ FlowerLady

  2. I love all the butterflies you have. I have quite a few blooms, but I've only seen a few butterflies so far this year. Usually I have lots of them. Maybe it's too early...I'll keep looking!

  3. I saw the first butterflies about two days ago. I haven't identified it yet and I have to get my book out the check before I know. I can't seem to retain that info!

    You are like me in trying to identify things. I like to know.....

  4. Thanks for coming by, Glenda, Lorraine and Christy. I think new broods of butterflies will be hatching any day now. There's always a lull and then they are everywhere!

    I forget their names, especially how to tell the various Swallowtails; sometimes I just say 'dark swallowtail' rather than looking it up again. I doubt I will ever remember their Latin names.

  5. I love every kind of penstemon and yet I have few. V. bonariensis I have plenty. Your mystery plant certainly must belong to the same family judging by the leaf forma and the flower. As you say, so many.

  6. You mentioned "Little golden book"...what is that? or is a saying of some sort?

  7. LIttle Golden Books (for children)have been around a long, long time. Back in the 70s they published a series of Nature Guides of which I have Weeds, Flowers, Spiders and their Kin, Non-Flowering Plants, and Trees. I use those as much as I do my Audubon Field Guides from 2000.

  8. Mystery solved! My little wildflower is Pineland Twinflower and is of the Acanthus family, which makes it kin to Ruellias and other pretty things.

  9. Acanthus! I shoulda tried those... I was searching Scrophulariaceae... and it wasn't working...


I look forward to comments and questions and lively discussion of gardening and related ideas.

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