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Sunday, June 29, 2008

What's Not to Like About 'Homestead Purple' Verbena?

What's not to like about 'Homestead Purple' Verbena? The only answer I could come up with to my own question is that I don't have enough of it! It is a fantastic flowering ground cover. 'Purple Homestead' grows very well with little care in full sun. For Tennessee gardens it's a must have.



Who Discovered 'Purple Homestead' Verbena?

Do you know Allan Armitage (Armitage's Native Plants for North American Gardens) and Mike Dirr (Viburnums: Flowering Shrubs for Every Season)? You've probably heard their names before. These two University of Georgia professors, horticulturalists, and authors are responsible for the discovery of 'Purple Homestead' verbena. According to an article by retired Arkansas Extension Agent Gerald Klingamen, the two Georgia professors were driving to Athens when they spotted a large mass of Verbena on a homestead (hmm, could that be where the name came from?). They stopped to inquire about the plant but the lady who owned the property didn't know much about it. She allowed Armitage and Dirr to collect some cuttings and now it's in garden centers and nurseries everywhere.


It's hard to beat these purple blooms that flower prolifically throughout the summer. We have three of these plants with two more coming from cuttings. One of the 'Purple Homestead' verbenas was in our mailbox garden and mysteriously died. I suspect it may have had too much moisture. It really looked fantastic this spring mixed with 'May Night' salvias and an Achillea (yarrow). I had just bought two more small plants for other locations when it passed away. The verbena in the first picture was a cutting from our first one that I rooted last summer so technically we still have the first plant since this one is a clone. It's growing thick and strong in our front porch garden.



This verbena bloom is forming a near perfect circle with its flowers. They root very easily from cuttings or you could divide them each year if you want more, who wouldn't?




I wish I could take a photo of the verbena flowers when they are bathed in the moonlight. I doubt my camera would get a great shot but they seem to glow an effervescent purple when reflecting the moonlight. It would be a perfect ground cover flower for a night garden.

Can you figure out what's not to like about 'Purple Homestead' verbena? I sure couldn't!

Want to know more about 'Purple Homestead' Verbena?
Here's some information on propagating 'Purple Homestead' Verbena.

12 comments :

  1. The only way it could be any prettier would be to be in "my" garden, growing along side my orange and yellow Lantana. lOL

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  2. I could not fathom any one not liking this flower {only because it's not in my garden} lol It is just beautiful.

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  3. What's not to like, indeed! Very pretty.

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  4. I have two of them in my garden. One has grown to the size of about a 5 foot circle! I had to clip it back from the grass to keep from running over it with the mower! The thing has been really beautiful since early spring. The butterflies, bees and hummingbirds love it too!

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  5. I did not know Armitage and Dirr discovered it. Coincidentally I just received Dirr's Viburnum book in the mail this week. Love that book. My homestead is not blooming at the moment. I think I should maybe fertilize it and cut it back. Not sure.

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  6. It's hard not to love this plant...one particularly warm winter it bloomed up until December! It's semi-evergreen in my garden and the punch of green helps. Rose Verbena or Glandularia candensis (species) is a native plant of the cedar glades, too! I was visiting a Glade this morning so native plants are on my mind! Thanks to the two big guys of the horticultural world for finding this gem!

    Gail

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  7. What a gorgeous plant! I don't know how any one couldn't love them!

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  8. Eve,

    Go get one, the combination you mentioned sounds great!

    Lola,

    It is great and should do well in your neck of the woods.

    Aunt Debbie and Nancy,

    I definitely agree!

    Skeeter,

    That is one big one! It's probably self rooted along the stem in quite a few places. You could take some of those cuttings and root them in water them put them in other spots. They are great for butterflies!

    Tina,

    I think the more it is cut the more it blooms. Is it in full sun?

    Gail,

    Wow, it bloomed until December! It definitely is a hardy little plant.

    DP,

    If you don't have one you should get one! Put it next to your veggies and imagine the pollinators that would come by.

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  9. As much full sun as I can give it, that it probably part of the problem now that the trees have leafed out. Still makes a nice ground cover. Red mums are blooming through it.

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  10. I agree, a wonderful plant. I have had problems with it coming back every year and I've learned that it needs space to grow and sulks if it is crowded by other plants.

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  11. One of my favorites. Don't think I could do without it. Just never make the mistake of planting more than one within a foot of each other...unless you want a groundcover...LOL

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