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Verbena officinalis

Verbena officinalis

Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Lamiales
Family: Verbenaceae
Genus: Verbena
Species: V. officinalis
Binomial name
Verbena officinalis

Verbena officinalis (Common Vervain, Common Verbena, Simpler's Joy or Holy Herb) is a perennial herb native to Europe. It grows up to a metre (a yard) high, with an upright habit and it prefers limey soils. The lobed leaves are toothed, the delicate spikes hold mauve flowers.

This ancient plant has been used in herbal medicine to treat nervous problems and insomnia. It was also considered a herb of inspiration and has long been regarded as a powerful ally of poets and writers. More recently, the Pawnee Indians used vervain to improve their dreaming, and is often referred to as the North American version of Calea zacatechichi.

Cultivation and uses

Propagation is by seed or root. It is widely naturalised outside its native range. This plant is used as a medicinal plant.

In northern Europe it was regarded as a sacred herb, used in sacred ointments to cleanse and defend against demonic illness. It was also used in love potions

According to the William Faulkner short story "An Odor of Verbena", Verbena is the only scent that can be smelled above the scent of horses and courage.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Verbena_officinalis". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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