Glandularia canadensis

12 Interesting Facts About Rose Verbena (Glandularia canadensis)

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Rose verbena, also known by its scientific name Glandularia canadensis, is a delightful flowering plant native to North America. This low-growing perennial is easy to grow, spreads readily, and produces an abundance of colorful blooms from early spring through fall.

If you’re considering adding rose verbena to your garden, here are 12 fascinating facts to get you excited about growing this versatile plant:

1. It Was Once Classified as a Verbena

Up until recently, rose verbena was classified as a member of the Verbena genus. However, advances in genetic research led to its reclassification into the genus Glandularia in the 1990s.

So while you may still see it sold under names like “rose vervain” or “Canadian vervain,” taxonomically it now resides within the Glandularia group.

2. Rose Verbena Spreads Easily

One of the best qualities of rose verbena is its spreading habit. As the stems creep along the ground, they root easily wherever nodes touch soil.

This allows the plant to spread into a lovely, dense ground cover. It’s an excellent choice if you’re looking to fill in an area with lush, flowering foliage.

3. It Attracts Butterflies and Hummingbirds

The nectar-rich blooms of rose verbena attract pollinators like crazy. You can expect to see lots of butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds visiting the colorful flowers.

So if you want to draw more pollinators to your landscape, rose verbena is a great plant choice!

Glandularia canadensis
Glandularia canadensis

4. There Are Cultivars Available

While the wild species has deep pinkish-purple blooms, cultivated varieties expand the color palette. Garden centers and nurseries sell cultivars with flowers in white, red, pink, lavender, and more.

Some cultivars also have more compact growth versus the sprawling nature of the straight species. So you can find just the right fit for your space.

5. It’s Extremely Drought-Tolerant

Once established, rose verbena handles drought exceptionally well. Its native habitat includes dry prairies, glades, and hillsides, which shows just how sturdy this plant is.

These drought-tolerant capabilities make rose verbena ideal for xeriscapes and other low-water gardens.

6. Rose Verbena Does Best in Full Sun

While rose verbena can tolerate partial shade, it thrives best with a minimum of 6 hours of direct sunlight per day. Areas with morning sun and afternoon shade also work well.

Just make sure to avoid planting it in dense shade. Insufficient light leads to weaker, leggy growth and reduced flowering.

7. It’s Deer and Rabbit Resistant

Pest damage is always a concern for gardeners. Fortunately, deer and rabbits tend to leave rose verbena alone thanks to naturally occurring compounds in the foliage.

So you can plant rose verbena in your garden without worrying too much about deer munching on the flowers and stems.

8. The Leaves Have a Noticeable Sandpapery Texture

If you rub the leaves of rose verbena between your fingers, you’ll discover a rough, sandpapery texture. This distinguishing characteristic makes the plant easy to identify.

The coarse texture comes from covering of short, stiff hairs on both sides of the leaves.

9. Rose Verbena Makes a Lovely Ground Cover

Thanks to its spreading growth habit, rose verbena serves as a beautiful flowering ground cover. It looks especially nice spilling over walls or trailing down slopes.

You can also grow it in containers where the stems will cascade attractively over the edges.

10. It’s Easy to Propagate from Cuttings

Rose verbena propagates with ease from tip cuttings taken during the growing season. Simply snip a few stems that have nodes and root them directly in potting mix.

In just a few weeks, you’ll have young, rooted transplants ready to pot up or move to the garden.

11. Rose Verbena Has a Long Bloom Season

Unlike many flowering perennials, rose verbena has an exceptionally long bloom period. The petite flowers appear in spring and continue their colorful display until fall frost.

Deadheading spent blooms regularly encourage the maximum amount of reblooming.

12. It’s Native to Much of North America

Wild rose verbena grows across a wide swath of North America. Its native range stretches from New Mexico northeast to New England and southeast to Florida and the Gulf Coast.

So if you want to add some regionally native color to your garden, rose verbena is an excellent choice no matter where you live in the eastern or central U.S.

With its vibrant blooms, easy-care nature, and native status, rose verbena deserves a spot in any sunny garden. Give Glandularia canadensis a try this year – both you and the pollinators will be glad you did!


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