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Verbena rigida
(stiff verbena)

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Datasheet

Verbena rigida (stiff verbena)

Pictures

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PictureTitleCaptionCopyright
Verbena rigida (stiff verbena); habit. South West Rocks, New South Wales, Australia. October 2006.
TitleHabit
CaptionVerbena rigida (stiff verbena); habit. South West Rocks, New South Wales, Australia. October 2006.
Copyright©Harry Rose 'Macleay Grass Man'/via flickr - CC BY 2.0
Verbena rigida (stiff verbena); habit. South West Rocks, New South Wales, Australia. October 2006.
HabitVerbena rigida (stiff verbena); habit. South West Rocks, New South Wales, Australia. October 2006.©Harry Rose 'Macleay Grass Man'/via flickr - CC BY 2.0
Verbena rigida (stiff verbena); flowers. South West Rocks, New South Wales, Australia. October 2006.
TitleFlowers
CaptionVerbena rigida (stiff verbena); flowers. South West Rocks, New South Wales, Australia. October 2006.
Copyright©Harry Rose 'Macleay Grass Man'/via flickr - CC BY 2.0
Verbena rigida (stiff verbena); flowers. South West Rocks, New South Wales, Australia. October 2006.
FlowersVerbena rigida (stiff verbena); flowers. South West Rocks, New South Wales, Australia. October 2006.©Harry Rose 'Macleay Grass Man'/via flickr - CC BY 2.0
Verbena rigida (stiff verbena); close-view of flowers. South West Rocks, New South Wales, Australia. September 2004.
TitleFlowers
CaptionVerbena rigida (stiff verbena); close-view of flowers. South West Rocks, New South Wales, Australia. September 2004.
Copyright©Harry Rose 'Macleay Grass Man'/via flickr - CC BY 2.0
Verbena rigida (stiff verbena); close-view of flowers. South West Rocks, New South Wales, Australia. September 2004.
FlowersVerbena rigida (stiff verbena); close-view of flowers. South West Rocks, New South Wales, Australia. September 2004.©Harry Rose 'Macleay Grass Man'/via flickr - CC BY 2.0
Verbena rigida (stiff verbena); structure, showing rhizomatous root. South West Rocks, New South Wales, Australia. October 2006.
TitleStructure
CaptionVerbena rigida (stiff verbena); structure, showing rhizomatous root. South West Rocks, New South Wales, Australia. October 2006.
Copyright©Harry Rose 'Macleay Grass Man'/via flickr - CC BY 2.0
Verbena rigida (stiff verbena); structure, showing rhizomatous root. South West Rocks, New South Wales, Australia. October 2006.
StructureVerbena rigida (stiff verbena); structure, showing rhizomatous root. South West Rocks, New South Wales, Australia. October 2006.©Harry Rose 'Macleay Grass Man'/via flickr - CC BY 2.0
Verbena rigida (stiff verbena); stem and leaves. South West Rocks, New South Wales, Australia. January 2005.
TitleStem and leaves
CaptionVerbena rigida (stiff verbena); stem and leaves. South West Rocks, New South Wales, Australia. January 2005.
Copyright©Harry Rose 'Macleay Grass Man'/via flickr - CC BY 2.0
Verbena rigida (stiff verbena); stem and leaves. South West Rocks, New South Wales, Australia. January 2005.
Stem and leavesVerbena rigida (stiff verbena); stem and leaves. South West Rocks, New South Wales, Australia. January 2005.©Harry Rose 'Macleay Grass Man'/via flickr - CC BY 2.0
Verbena rigida (stiff verbena); leaves. South West Rocks, New South Wales, Australia. January 2005.
TitleLeaves
CaptionVerbena rigida (stiff verbena); leaves. South West Rocks, New South Wales, Australia. January 2005.
Copyright©Harry Rose 'Macleay Grass Man'/via flickr - CC BY 2.0
Verbena rigida (stiff verbena); leaves. South West Rocks, New South Wales, Australia. January 2005.
LeavesVerbena rigida (stiff verbena); leaves. South West Rocks, New South Wales, Australia. January 2005.©Harry Rose 'Macleay Grass Man'/via flickr - CC BY 2.0

Identity

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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Verbena rigida Spreng.

Preferred Common Name

  • stiff verbena

Other Scientific Names

  • Verbena doniana Steud.
  • Verbena rugosa D. Don.
  • Verbena scaberrima Cham.
  • Verbena venosa Gillies & Hook

International Common Names

  • English: creeping verbena; hardy garden verbena; javaro; large veined verbena; purple verbena; rough verbena; sandpaper verbena; slender verbena; slender vervain; tuberous vervain; veined verbena
  • Spanish: javaro; verbena aspera
  • French: verveine; verveine rugueuse; verveine tubéreuse

Local Common Names

  • Brazil: erva-arame
  • Czech Republic: sporýš tuhý
  • Denmark: slank jernurt
  • Hungary: lila vasfu
  • Sweden: violverbena

Summary of Invasiveness

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V. rigida is an herbaceous perennial planted as a fast spreading groundcover (Royal Horticultural Society, 2015) and is listed as weedy in many countries (Randall, 2012). It is principally found in disturbed areas but can spread into grasslands and forests and is a weed of cotton fields (ISSG, 2015). However, there is little information on the species impact in agricultural or natural ecosystems. It spreads via rhizomes and seeds (ISSG, 2015), but the extent of dispersal by seed and whether the plant has a seedbank is unknown.

Taxonomic Tree

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  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Plantae
  •         Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •             Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •                 Class: Dicotyledonae
  •                     Order: Lamiales
  •                         Family: Verbenaceae
  •                             Genus: Verbena
  •                                 Species: Verbena rigida

Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature

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Verbena rigida Spreng. is an accepted name on all major taxonomic lists, with the most commonly noted synonym being V. venosa Gillies & Hook (The Plant List, 2013; USDA-ARS, 2015; GISD, 2015). The genus name Verbena is of an obscure derivation but is used to describe any plant used as a healing or sacred herb. The species epithet rigida derives from the Latin "rig(id)" meaning "stiff, harsh" probably referring to the erect stems (Alabama Plants, 2015). The species epithet of the synonym V. venosa referred to prominent veins on the leaves.

There are several cultivars of V. rigida. ‘Polaris’ has almost grey flowers and is sometimes labeled as V. rigida var. ilicina (Daves Garden 2015). ‘Alba’ has white flowers and ‘Lilacina’ and ‘Lilac Haze’ have lilac coloured flowers (Bailey and Bailey, 1976; Bourne, 2013). Also available are ‘Santos’ and ‘Touch of Style’ (Daves Garden, 2015).

Description

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V. rigida grows as an herbaceous perennial plant 50-60 cm in height (ISSG, 2015). It can form dense stands via rhizomes and stolons (Munir, 2002). Leaves are arranged opposite to subopposite along the square stems and leaves clasp the stem (Tveten and Tveten, 2010; ISSG, 2015). The stiff, dark green leaves are oblong in shape, 5-10 cm long, with pointed tips and coarsely serrated edges (ISSG, 2015). Leaves and stems are covered in rough hairs (Tveten and Tveten, 2010). Cylindrical spikes of flowers forming spreading clusters are held at the ends of stems. Each flower calyx is 3-3.5 mm long and the corolla-tube is 5-10(-12) mm long (ISSG, 2015). Flowers are purple in colour and fragrant. Dry fruits separate into four, one-seeded parts. Each seed is about 2 mm long (ISSG, 2015).

Plant Type

Top of page Broadleaved
Herbaceous
Perennial
Seed propagated
Vegetatively propagated

Distribution

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V. rigida is native to South America including central and southern Brazil and northern Argentina (Munir, 2002). ISSG (2015) also lists it as native to Paraguay, Uruguay, Chile, Bolivia and Venezuela. It has become widespread around the world in tropical and temperate regions including Australia and New Zealand, South Africa, the Caribbean islands, Central America, and the southern United States and Hawaii (GBIF, 2015). Two references list it as occurring in California but those may be cultivated occurrences (Kartesz, 2016; GBIF, 2015): the Jepson eflora (2016) does not list it as naturalized in California. It appears to be an occasional escape in Scotland and southern Europe (GBIF, 2015). It grows as far north as Scotland in Europe (GBIF, 2015) and Virginia (Flora of Virginia, 2015; Weakley, 2015) in the USA, and is found as far south as New Zealand (GBIF, 2015).

Distribution Table

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The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.

Continent/Country/RegionDistributionLast ReportedOriginFirst ReportedInvasiveReferenceNotes

Asia

ChinaPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-Hong KongPresentIntroduced Not invasive PIER, 2015
IndiaPresentIntroducedUSDA-ARS, 2015
JapanPresentIntroduced Not invasive GBIF, 2015; PIER, 2015

Africa

RéunionLocalisedIntroduced Invasive GBIF, 2015; PIER, 2015
South AfricaLocalisedIntroducedTransvaal Department of Agriculture, 1905; Phillips, 1917; GBIF, 2015
SwazilandPresentIntroducedGBIF, 2015
TanzaniaPresentIntroducedGBIF, 2015

North America

BermudaLocalisedIntroduced1909, 1913New York Botanical Garden, 2015
CanadaPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-British ColumbiaPresent only in captivity/cultivationIntroduced Not invasive GBIF, 2015
MexicoLocalisedIntroduced Not invasive Villaseñor and Espinosa-Garcia, 2004; HEAR, 2015
USAPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-AlabamaWidespreadIntroducedGBIF, 2015; Missouri Botanical Garden, 2015; Weakley, 2015
-ArizonaPresentIntroduced Not invasive GBIF, 2015; Kartesz, 2016
-CaliforniaPresentIntroducedGBIF, 2015; Kartesz, 2016
-FloridaPresent, few occurrencesIntroducedMissouri Botanical Garden, 2015; Kartesz, 2016
-GeorgiaWidespreadIntroducedMissouri Botanical Garden, 2015; Weakley, 2015
-HawaiiWidespreadIntroduced Invasive GBIF, 2015; PIER, 2015Oahu, Hawaii
-LouisianaWidespreadIntroducedWeakley, 2015
-MississippiWidespreadIntroducedGBIF, 2015; Weakley, 2015
-North CarolinaWidespreadIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2015; Weakley, 2015
-OklahomaPresentIntroducedKartesz, 2016
-South CarolinaWidespreadIntroducedMissouri Botanical Garden, 2015; Weakley, 2015; Williamson, 2015
-TennesseeLocalisedIntroducedWeakley, 2015
-TexasLocalisedIntroducedSmall, 1903; GBIF, 2015; USDA-NRCS, 2015
-UtahPresentIntroducedKartesz, 2016
-VirginiaWidespreadIntroducedFlora of Virginia, 2015; Weakley, 2015

Central America and Caribbean

CubaLocalisedIntroducedNew York Botanical Garden, 2015; UPRRP, 2016
Dominican RepublicLocalisedIntroduced1988New York Botanical Garden, 2015
El SalvadorLocalisedIntroducedGBIF, 2015
GuadeloupePresent only in captivity/cultivationIntroduced1885, 1993New York Botanical Garden, 2015
HaitiLocalisedIntroducedGBIF, 2015; New York Botanical Garden, 2015
JamaicaLocalisedIntroduced1917New York Botanical Garden, 2015
MartiniquePresentIntroducedNew York Botanical Garden, 2015

South America

ArgentinaLocalisedNative Not invasive GBIF, 2015
BoliviaPresentNative Not invasive GBIF, 2015
BrazilPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-ParanaPresentIntroduced Not invasive GBIF, 2015
-Rio Grande do SulPresentNative Not invasive GBIF, 2015
-Santa CatarinaPresentNative Not invasive GBIF, 2015
-Sao PauloPresentNative Not invasive GBIF, 2015
ChilePresentIntroduced Not invasive GBIF, 2015; USDA-ARS, 2015
ParaguayPresentNative Not invasive GBIF, 2015
UruguayPresentNative Not invasive GBIF, 2015

Europe

BelgiumPresent, few occurrencesIntroduced1951 Not invasive GBIF, 2015; Manual of the Alien Plants of Belgium, 2016
Czech RepublicLocalisedIntroducedHEAR, 2015
DenmarkPresent, few occurrencesIntroduced1961 Not invasive NOBANIS, 2015
FrancePresentIntroducedGBIF, 2015
GermanyPresentIntroducedGBIF, 2015
PortugalPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-AzoresPresentIntroducedGBIF, 2015
-MadeiraPresentIntroducedSequeira et al., 2011
UKPresent, few occurrencesIntroduced Not invasive Don, 1833; Macpherson, 1993Scotland

Oceania

AustraliaPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-New South WalesLocalisedIntroduced1875Turner, 1895; Munir, 2002; GBIF, 2015
-QueenslandLocalisedIntroducedMunir, 2002; GBIF, 2015
-South AustraliaPresentIntroducedMunir, 2002; GBIF, 2015
-VictoriaLocalisedIntroducedMunir, 2002
-Western AustraliaPresentIntroducedMunir, 2002; GBIF, 2015
New CaledoniaLocalisedIntroduced Invasive GBIF, 2015; PIER, 2015Grande Terre, Lifou, Isle of Pines, Loyalty
New ZealandLocalisedIntroducedGBIF, 2015

History of Introduction and Spread

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V. rigida is widely cultivated as an ornamental plant (Bailey and Bailey, 1976). It was first introduced to Europe by Dr. John Gillies (Hooker, 1830) and flowered in a garden in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1831 (Don, 1833). By 1883 it was described as a “good old bedding plant” in the H. Cannell and Sons Floral Guide (Cannell and Sons, 1883).

Plants spread by seed and spread vegetatively by rhizomes (ISSG, 2015). The species was first recorded in Australia in 1875 and now occupies five regions across Australia (Munir, 2002). It was described as spreading in pastures in New South Wales in 1895 (Turner, 1895). It had naturalized in South Africa in a pasture in the Transvaal by 1903 (Transvaal Department of Agriculture, 1905) and on mountain slopes in the Transvaal by 1917 (Phillips, 1917). Britton (1918) described it as an occasional garden escape in Bermuda.

In the USA it was first recorded in Texas in 1903 (Small, 1903) as growing in waste places. It has since naturalized across much of the southern United States (USDA-NRCS, 2015; Williamson, 2015).  

Introductions

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Introduced toIntroduced fromYearReasonIntroduced byEstablished in wild throughReferencesNotes
Natural reproductionContinuous restocking
Australia South America 1875 Horticulture (pathway cause) Yes Munir (2002)
Bermuda South America Before 1909 Horticulture (pathway cause) Yes New York Botanical Garden (2015)
England and Wales South America 1830 Horticulture (pathway cause) Yes Hooker (1830) Flowered in garden 1831
Guadeloupe South America Before 1885 Horticulture (pathway cause) Yes New York Botanical Garden (2015)
Jamaica South America Before 1917 Horticulture (pathway cause) Yes New York Botanical Garden (2015)
New Zealand South America  1870-1900 Horticulture (pathway cause) Yes Esler and Astridge (1987)
New Zealand South America 1926 Horticulture (pathway cause) Yes New Zealand Plant Conservation Network (2015)
South Africa South America Before 1917 Horticulture (pathway cause) Yes Phillips (1917)
South Africa South America Before 1903 Horticulture (pathway cause) Yes Transvaal Department of Agriculture (1905) Weed in pasture
USA South America Before 1903 Horticulture (pathway cause) Yes Small (1903)

Risk of Introduction

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V. rigida has spread internationally due to its popularity as an ornamental plant (Randall, 2012). Commercially it is grown from seed and from divisions (Royal Horticultural Society, 2015). It is sold through the mail and in retail stores (Royal Horticultural Society, 2015; Daves Garden, 2015). In gardens it is used as a fast growing groundcover (Daves Garden, 2015). Spreading by rhizomes and stolons in addition to seeds, gardeners may weed out excess plants and potentially contribute to local spread (Manual of the Alien Plants of Belgium, 2016). Rhizomes and seeds could also spread out of gardens on their own. Seeds are probably dispersed by gravity. In Hawaii, notes for an herbarium specimen from Oahu describe it as “extremely weedy” (GBIF 2015). 

Habitat

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V. rigida is often found along roadsides and in waste places in its introduced range (ISSG, 2015) as well as in lawns (McCarty, 2001; Daves Garden, 2015). It has invaded riverbanks, woodlands and grasslands in South Africa (Hunter et al., 1999). A weed of cotton fields in Australia (ISSG, 2015). It occurs at a longleaf pine site in Alabama (Nation and Larsen, 2009).

Habitat List

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CategorySub-CategoryHabitatPresenceStatus
Terrestrial
 
Terrestrial – ManagedCultivated / agricultural land Secondary/tolerated habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Cultivated / agricultural land Secondary/tolerated habitat Natural
Managed grasslands (grazing systems) Principal habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Managed grasslands (grazing systems) Principal habitat Natural
Disturbed areas Principal habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Disturbed areas Principal habitat Natural
Rail / roadsides Principal habitat Natural
Urban / peri-urban areas Principal habitat Productive/non-natural
Terrestrial ‑ Natural / Semi-naturalNatural forests Secondary/tolerated habitat Natural
Natural grasslands Secondary/tolerated habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Natural grasslands Secondary/tolerated habitat Natural
Riverbanks Secondary/tolerated habitat Natural
Rocky areas / lava flows Secondary/tolerated habitat Natural

Hosts/Species Affected

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V. rigida is a weed in pastures and cotton fields (Munir, 2002) and turf grass (Georgia Turf, 2015) but appears to be a relatively minor weed. Where a weed of cotton fields in Australia (Johnson and Hazlewood, 2002) no information was available on the magnitude of effect or what crop stage is affected. It is considered a weed in cultivation of bald cypress in Florida (Osiecka and Minogue, 2012). 

Host Plants and Other Plants Affected

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Plant nameFamilyContext
Gossypium (cotton)MalvaceaeMain

Biology and Ecology

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Genetics

V. rigida has a gametophytic count of 42 (IPCN Chromosome Reports, 2015). Flower colour varies from the standard purple to white, grey and lilac colours (Bailey and Bailey, 1976; Daves Garden, 2015).

Reproductive Biology

When grown from seed, the plants flower in the first year. After planting in spring, seeds germinate within three to four weeks (Bourne, 2013). Cold stratification may be necessary for germination (Diane’s Flower Seeds, 2015; auJardin.info, 2015). Each flower can produce up to four seeds (ISSG, 2015). Local spread and establishment is facilitated by long white rhizomes.

Physiology and Phenology

Established plants begin flowering in spring and continue flowering into autumn (Tveten and Tveten, 2010; Bourne, 2013). In Bermuda it is described as flowering in summer and autumn (Britton, 1918). Usually considered a zone 7-9 perennial, but comes back reliably in Kentucky's hardiness zone 6” (Anderson and Bale, 2006).

Longevity

V. rigida is grown as a self-seeding annual in cold climates (Diane’s Flower Seeds, 2015), but perennial in warm-temperate, subtropical and tropical climates (ISSG, 2015). Because plants spread by rhizomes they are likely to live for many years but no specific information was found on longevity.

Population Size and Structure

A single plant can grow densely and create a large stand because of spread through rhizomes (Tveten and Tveten, 2010).

Associations

V. rigida is considered attractive to pollinators, especially butterflies (Daves Garden, 2015). Seedaholic (2015) lists a wide range of butterflies it is said to attract.

Environmental Requirements

V. rigida is found in temperate and tropical climate zones (GBIF, 2015). It grows in acidic, alkaline and neutral soil pH and on most soil types including sand, loam and clay and chalk (GISD, 2015). It prefers growing in full sun and well-drained soils (Daves Garden, 2015; auJardin.info, 2015), and is described as heat and drought tolerant (Tveten and Tveten, 2010). 

Climate

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ClimateStatusDescriptionRemark
Af - Tropical rainforest climate Preferred > 60mm precipitation per month
Am - Tropical monsoon climate Preferred Tropical monsoon climate ( < 60mm precipitation driest month but > (100 - [total annual precipitation(mm}/25]))
As - Tropical savanna climate with dry summer Preferred < 60mm precipitation driest month (in summer) and < (100 - [total annual precipitation{mm}/25])
Aw - Tropical wet and dry savanna climate Preferred < 60mm precipitation driest month (in winter) and < (100 - [total annual precipitation{mm}/25])
Cf - Warm temperate climate, wet all year Preferred Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, wet all year
Cs - Warm temperate climate with dry summer Preferred Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, dry summers
Cw - Warm temperate climate with dry winter Preferred Warm temperate climate with dry winter (Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, dry winters)

Latitude/Altitude Ranges

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Latitude North (°N)Latitude South (°S)Altitude Lower (m)Altitude Upper (m)
56 45

Air Temperature

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Parameter Lower limit Upper limit
Absolute minimum temperature (ºC) -17.7
Mean maximum temperature of hottest month (ºC) 19 35
Mean minimum temperature of coldest month (ºC) 22

Rainfall

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ParameterLower limitUpper limitDescription
Dry season duration5number of consecutive months with <40 mm rainfall
Mean annual rainfall4752474mm; lower/upper limits

Rainfall Regime

Top of page Bimodal
Bimodal
Summer
Summer
Uniform
Uniform
Winter
Winter

Soil Tolerances

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Soil drainage

  • free

Soil reaction

  • acid
  • alkaline
  • neutral

Soil texture

  • heavy
  • light
  • medium

Special soil tolerances

  • shallow

Notes on Natural Enemies

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Several generalist species have been found to parasitize or feed on V. rigida but none are used for biological control. Meloidogyne hapla is a root knot nematode recorded on the plant in the Nilgiri hills of India (Nirmal Singh et al., 1979). Sigmodon hispidus (hispid cotton rat) feeds on V. rigida leaves (Cameron and Eshelman, 1996; Randolph and Cameron, 2001). Williamson (2015) lists slugs and snails, powdery mildew, Botrytis blight, root rot, aphids, whiteflies, thrips, mites and leaf miners as common pests and diseases on Verbenas in general.

Means of Movement and Dispersal

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Natural Dispersal

There is little information available on seed dispersal in this species. V. officinalis has been dispersed through consumption by deer (Gill and Beardall, 2001) and by gravity (Willson, 1993). Gravity is likely the main dispersal mechanism.

Accidental Introduction

Plants could be spread locally by disposal of rhizomes or spread of seed in soil or mulch but there is little documented evidence of accidental spread (Manual of the Alien Plants of Belgium, 2016).

Intentional Introduction

V. rigida is widely cultivated from seed and from divisions (Royal Horticultural Society, 2015; Daves Garden, 2015). Botanic Gardens Conservation International lists 53 ex situ sites with V. rigida (BGCI, 2015).

Pathway Causes

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CauseNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
Botanical gardens and zoosOrnamental plant in at least 53 botanical gardens Yes Yes BGCI, 2014
Breeding and propagationWidely cultivated and available for sale as seeds and plants from numerous sources Yes Yes BGCI, 2014; Daves Garden, 2015; Royal Horticultural Society, 2015
Crop productionWeed in cotton crop fields Yes Johnson and Hazlewood, 2002
Escape from confinement or garden escape Yes ISSG, 2015; Manual of the Alien Plants of Belgium, 2016
Garden waste disposal Yes Manual of the Alien Plants of Belgium, 2016
Horticulture Yes Yes Royal Horticultural Society, 2015
Landscape improvement Yes Yes Royal Horticultural Society, 2015
Nursery trade Yes Yes Royal Horticultural Society, 2015
Seed trade Yes Royal Horticultural Society, 2015

Pathway Vectors

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VectorNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
Debris and waste associated with human activities Yes Manual of the Alien Plants of Belgium, 2016
Germplasm Yes Yes BGCI, 2014; Royal Horticultural Society, 2015
Mail Yes Royal Horticultural Society, 2015

Impact Summary

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CategoryImpact
Cultural/amenity Positive
Economic/livelihood Positive and negative
Environment (generally) Negative

Environmental Impact

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Although V. rigida is listed as occurring in a variety of natural habitats (Hunter et al., 1999; Nation and Larsen, 2009; Ruckstuhl, 2015) no research appears to have been done on the plants impact on these habitats. 

Risk and Impact Factors

Top of page Invasiveness
  • Proved invasive outside its native range
  • Has a broad native range
  • Abundant in its native range
  • Highly adaptable to different environments
  • Is a habitat generalist
  • Pioneering in disturbed areas
  • Highly mobile locally
  • Fast growing
  • Has high reproductive potential
  • Reproduces asexually
Impact outcomes
  • Ecosystem change/ habitat alteration
  • Monoculture formation
Impact mechanisms
  • Competition - monopolizing resources
  • Competition - shading
  • Rapid growth
Likelihood of entry/control
  • Highly likely to be transported internationally deliberately

Uses

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V. rigida is used as an ornamental plant in botanical gardens, home gardens, and in containers (Bourne, 2013). It is considered attractive to pollinators, including butterflies (Daves Garden, 2015). Being drought resistant it is useful ground cover in dry areas, and can also be used for erosion control on banks and slopes (GISD, 2015).

Uses List

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Environmental

  • Amenity
  • Landscape improvement
  • Soil conservation
  • Wildlife habitat

General

  • Botanical garden/zoo

Ornamental

  • Cut flower
  • Potted plant
  • Propagation material
  • Seed trade

Similarities to Other Species/Conditions

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V. rigida is most closely related to V. bonariensis. V. rigida is most easily distinguished from other verbena species by its rhizomes and stoloniferous stems. Additionally, the flowers are arranged in single spikes or small groups of spikes and individual flowers have a corolla tube 2 – 3x longer than the calyx (Munir, 2002). 

Prevention and Control

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V. rigida is not currently regulated anywhere, but some gardening sites and authors warn that the plant is weedy (Armitage, 2011; Daves Garden, 2015). Moreton Bay Regional Council (2015) suggests that to prevent problems with weedy Verbena spp., vigorous pasture should be maintained, and soil disturbance kept to a minimum. Seedlings and smaller plants can be hand pulled (Moreton Bay Regional Council, 2015), but rhizomatous roots make complete removal difficult as even small fragments can produce new plants.

Chemical Control

2,4-D, dicamba, MCPP, MCPA, triclopyr, and atrazine are recommended for controlling V. rigida in turfgrass (McCarty et al., 2001). Center for Turfgrass Science (2015) recommends control in turfgrass using 2,4-D, carfentrazone, clethodim, or metsulfuron.

References

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Alabama Plants, 2015. AlabamaPlants.com. http://alabamaplants.com/

Anderson R; Bale S, 2006. Kentucky garden flowers, Verbena. University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service. HortFact 51.14 06. http://www.uky.edu/Ag/Horticulture/gardenflowers/index.htm

Armitage A, 2011. Armitage's Garden Perennials. Portland, Oregon, USA: Timber Press, 347 pp.

auJardininfo, 2015. Verveine rugueuse, Verveine tubéreuse. http://www.aujardin.info/plantes/verbena-rigida.php

Bailey LH; Bailey EZ, 1976. Hortus Third. A concise dictionary of plants cultivated in the United States and Canada. New York, USA: Macmillan, 1290 pp.

BGCI, 2014. Botanic Gardens Conservation International. https://www.bgci.org/plant_search.php

Bourne V, 2013. How to grow: Verbena rigida. The Telegraph. June 6, 2013. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/gardening/howtogrow/3348813/How-to-grow-Verbena-rigida.html

Britton NL, 1918. Flora of Bermuda. New York, USA: Charles Scribner's Sons. 585 pp.

Bureau of Meteorology, 2015. Monthly climate statistics. Bureau of Meteorology, Australian Government. http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/averages/tables/cw_009225

Cameron G; Eshelman B, 1996. Growth and reproduction in hispid cotton rats (Sigmodon hispidus) in response to naturally occurring levels of dietary protein. Journal of Mammalogy, 77:220-231.

Cannell and Sons, 1883. Floral guide. http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/page/49072302#page/279/mode/1up

Center for Turfgrass Science, 2015. Verbena, sandpaper. Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Plant Science, Center for Turfgrass Science. http://plantscience.psu.edu/research/centers/turf/extension/plant-id/broadleaf/sandpaper-verbena

Daves Garden, 2015. Verbena rigida. http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/58497/#ixzz3voTwQ9XB

Diane's Flower Seeds, 2015. Verbena rigida. http://www.dianeseeds.com/verbena-rigida.html

Don D, 1833. Sweet's British flower garden. The Floricultural Cabinet and Florist's Magazine vol. 1. http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/page/15898445#page/11/mode/1up

Esler AE; Astridge SJ, 1987. The naturalisation of plants in urban Auckland, New Zealand. 2. Records of introduction and naturalisation. New Zealand Journal of Botany, 25(4):523-537.

Flora of Virginia, 2015. Digital Atlas of the Virginia Flora. Virginia Botanical Associates. http://vaplantatlas.org/index.php?do=start

GBIF, 2015. Global Biodiversity Information Facility. http://www.gbif.org/species

Georgia Turf, 2015. Stiff verbena. Turfgrass website of the University of Georgia. http://www.commodities.caes.uga.edu/turfgrass/georgiaturf/WeedMngt/grsweedpages/Verri.html

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12/02/2016 Original text by:

Sylvan Kaufman, Sylvan Green Earth Consulting, Santa Fe, USA

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