Herbs & Plants

Verbena macdougalii

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Botanical Name : Verbena macdougalii Heller
Family :Verbenaceae – Verbena family
Genus: Verbena L. – vervain
Species: Verbena macdougalii A. Heller – MacDougal verbena
Kingdom :Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom :Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division:Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class :Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Subclass :Asteridae
Order: Lamiales
Common Names: Vervain, MacDougal

Habitat : Verbena macdougali is native to the New World from Canada south to southern Chile, but some are also native in the Old World, mainly in Europe. These include Common Vervain (V. officinalis) and V. supina.

Verbena macdougalii is a deep purple erect herb similar to Verbena hastata, except that the flowering spikes are broader and the pubescence on the stems is spreading. It grows on roadsides at middle elevation up to about meter or so in height.

click to see the pictures.
The leaves are usually opposite, simple, and in many species hairy, often densely so. The flowers are small, with five petals, and borne in dense spikes. Typically some shade of blue, they may also be white, pink, or purple, especially in cultivars.


Medicinal Uses:
Vervain has longstanding use in herbalism and folk medicine, usually as a herbal tea. Nicholas Culpeper’s 1652 The English Physitian discusses folk uses. Among other effects, it may act as a galactagogue and possibly sex steroid analogue. The plants are also sometimes used as abortifacient.

The essential oil of various species – mainly Common Vervain – is traded as Spanish Verbena oil. Considered inferior to oil of Lemon Verbena (Aloysia citrodora) in perfumery, it is of some commercial importance for herbalism and it seems to be a promising source of medical compounds. Verveine, the famous green liqueur from the region of Le Puy-en-Velay (France) is flavored with these vervains.

Treats painful or nervous stomach. This upright mountain relative of Moradilla is used for the same purposes.

Other Uses:
Some species, hybrids and cultivars of vervain are used as ornamental plants. They are valued in butterfly gardening in suitable climates, attracting Lepidoptera such as the Hummingbird Hawk-moth (Macroglossum stellatarum), Chocolate Albatross (Appias lyncida), or the Pipevine Swallowtail (Battus philenor), and also hummingbirds, especially Common Vervain (V. officinalis), which is also grown as a honey plant.

The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.


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