Verbena bonariensis L.

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Verbena bonariensis

Photo: Bart Wursten
Chinyakwaremba, Vumba

Verbena bonariensis

Photo: Bart Wursten
Chinyakwaremba, Vumba

Verbena bonariensis

Photo: Bart Wursten
Near house on Freshwater Farm, Vumba

Verbena bonariensis

Photo: Petra Ballings
Shaneragh rd, Mandara, Harare

Verbena bonariensis

Photo: Bart Wursten
Haka Game Park

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Common names: Purple top (English) Wild verbena (English)
Frequency: Common
Status: Introduced
Erect annual herb, 0.6-2 m; stems scabrid to hispid or hairy. Leaves ovate, obovate or ovate-lanceolate below, narrower above, sessile, often ± amplexicaul, serrate. Inflorescence of numerous spikes, usually arranged in dense groups of 3. Bracts purplish, lanceolate, 2.75-4 mm. Calyx purplish. Corolla purple or magenta; tube 5.5-7 mm, exserted for c.1/2 of its length.
Notes: This species is very similar to Verbena brasiliensis. It can be distinguished by the slightly larger flowers which generally overtop the tuft of bracts at the top of the spikes. The floral bracts are mostly shorter than the calyces and the hairs on undersurfaces of the leaves are shorter, denser and hylaline, not whitish.
Derivation of specific name:
Habitat: In disturbed places, and in veis and wet areas.
Altitude range: (metres)
Flowering time:Oct - Mar
Worldwide distribution: Native of South America
Zimbabwe distribution: N,W,C,E,S
Growth form(s):
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species

Fernandes, R. (2005). Verbenaceae Flora Zambesiaca 8(7) Page 11.

Kirby, G. (2013). Wild Flowers of Southeast Botswana Struik Nature, Cape Town South Africa Page 334. (Includes a picture).

Mapaura, A. & Timberlake, J. (eds) (2004). A checklist of Zimbabwean vascular plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 33 Sabonet, Pretoria and Harare Page 82.

Maroyi, A. (2006). Preliminary checklist of introduced and naturalized plants in Zimbabwe. Kirkia 18(2) Page 246.

Setshogo, M.P. (2005). Preliminary checklist of the plants of Botswana. Sabonet Report no. 37. Sabonet, Pretoria and Gaborone Page 111.

Yeo, P.F. (1989). A re-definition of Verbena brasiliensis Kew Bulletin 45(1) Pages 105 - 1098. (Includes a picture).

Other sources of information about Verbena bonariensis:

Our websites:

Flora of Botswana: Verbena bonariensis
Flora of Mozambique: Verbena bonariensis
Flora of Zambia: Verbena bonariensis

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Verbena bonariensis
African Plant Database: Verbena bonariensis
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Verbena bonariensis
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Verbena bonariensis
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Verbena bonariensis
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
iNaturalist: Verbena bonariensis
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Verbena bonariensis
JSTOR Plant Science: Verbena bonariensis
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Verbena bonariensis
Plants of the World Online: Verbena bonariensis
Tropicos: Verbena bonariensis
Wikipedia: Verbena bonariensis

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2002-24

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2024). Flora of Zimbabwe: Species information: Verbena bonariensis., retrieved 26 May 2024

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