Trailing Purple ‘Homestead’ Verbena

Posted by on April 15, 2009 at 11:57 pm.
Trailing Verbena ('Homestead')

Trailing Verbena ('Homestead')

Trailing Verbena

Trailing Verbena

This is a Purple “Homestead’ Verbena that I got from another gardening friend.   It is the showiest thing in my garden from about the middle of February until the rest of the garden catches up in May or June.  The foliage stays green all year here.  I’m not sure if it is a Texas native or not.  I know that there are a few verbenas that are native here.

Here is a brief description I found at Paghat’s Garden blog about it:

Homestead Purple is an heirloom hybrid that seems to have hybridized by chance in an old Atlanta Georgia garden. It is a cross between Verbena canadensis which is native of the American southeast ranging as far north as Iowa, pollinated by an unknown Verbena that had not survived in the Atlanta garden by the time a trained eye recognized the “otherness” of what was either a chance hybrid or long lost & forgotten cultivar.

The story of its rediscovery has become almost legendary. Alan Armitage is an authority on perennials, & Mike Dirr is an authority on woody shrubs. These two University of Georgia horticultural professors were driving back from a trip to Athens, Georgia, when they did a sudden U-turn to see what the heck was that amazingly colorful flower in an old homestead garden.

They knocked on the door but the woman who lived there only knew she had always had it in her garden. She shared starts with professors Dirr & Armitage, & from those a new popular verbena was introduced to the world.

The fragrant bright purple flowers are considerably larger than most Verbena, & are upon this perennial from May through all of summer right up to Autumn’s first frost or later. In warmer climates than ours blooms can start as early as March.

We have done absolutely nothing to ours other than throw a little organic fertilizer at it whenever we fertilize the lawn and it is a happy as can be.  It will slow down in the heat of August and then start up again when the temperatures cool.  It is incredibly drought tolerant.  It is an absolutely lovely plant.


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