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Publication #FPS-600

Verbena speciosa 'lmagination' 'Imagination' Verbena1

Edward F. Gilman2

Introduction

This verbena is a perennial well suited for Florida landscapes, especially those that receive infrequent irrigation. It won the All American Selections award in 1993. Deep violet-blue or purple flowers borne in clusters at the top of this 12-inch-tall ground cover stand out against the soft, fine-textured foliage. They cover the plant with purple. Stems creep along the ground and root to bind the soil together, helping prevent erosion.

General Information

Scientific name: Verbena speciosa 'Imagination'
Pronunciation: ver-BEEN-nuh spee-see-OH-suh
Common name(s): 'Imagination' verbena
Family: Verbenaceae
Plant type: perennial; herbaceous; ground cover
USDA hardiness zones: 10 through 11 (Fig. 1)
Planting month for zone 10 and 11: Feb; Mar; Apr; May; Jun; Jul; Aug; Sep; Oct; Nov; Dec
Origin: not native to North America
Uses: mass planting; ground cover; attracts butterflies; cascading down a wall; hanging basket
Availability: generally available in many areas within its hardiness range

Figure 1. 

Shaded area represents potential planting range.


[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]

Description

Height: 1 to 1.5 feet
Spread: 3 to 5 feet
Plant habit: spreading
Plant density: moderate
Growth rate: moderate
Texture: fine

Foliage

Leaf arrangement: opposite/subopposite
Leaf type: simple
Leaf margin: lobed
Leaf shape: variable
Leaf venation: pinnate
Leaf type and persistence: semi-evergreen; evergreen
Leaf blade length: less than 2 inches
Leaf color: green
Fall color: no fall color change
Fall characteristic: not applicable

Flower

Flower color: purple; violet-blue
Flower characteristic: flower season is longer in zones 9-11; spring flowering; summer flowering

Fruit

Fruit shape: unknown
Fruit length: unknown
Fruit cover: unknown
Fruit color: unknown
Fruit characteristic: inconspicuous and not showy

Trunk and Branches

Trunk/bark/branches: not applicable
Current year stem/twig color: green
Current year stem/twig thickness: thin

Culture

Light requirement: plant grows in full sun
Soil tolerances: acidic; alkaline; sand; loam; clay
Drought tolerance: high
Soil salt tolerances: unknown
Plant spacing: 24 to 36 inches

Other

Roots: not applicable
Winter interest: no special winter interest
Outstanding plant: plant has outstanding ornamental features and could be planted more
Invasive potential: aggressive, spreading plant
Pest resistance: long-term health usually not affected by pests

Use and Management

To establish a solid ground cover, plant about 4 feet apart. Stems creep along the soil and plants will form a complete cover 18 to 24 months after planting. Plant in the full sun for fastest growth and best flowering. Foliage remains dark green with little or no care once plants are established. Occasional fertilizer applications will help keep the foliage green and will promote flowering.

Verbena tenuisecta is very similar.

Pests and Diseases

Few problems should impact this verbena.

Footnotes

1.

This document is FPS-600, one of a series of the Environmental Horticulture Department, UF/IFAS Extension. Original publication date October 1999. Reviewed February 2014. Visit the EDIS website at http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu.

2.

Edward F. Gilman, professor, Environmental Horticulture Department; UF/IFAS Extension, Gainesville, FL 32611.


The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Opportunity Institution authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function with non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations. For more information on obtaining other UF/IFAS Extension publications, contact your county's UF/IFAS Extension office.

U.S. Department of Agriculture, UF/IFAS Extension Service, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida A & M University Cooperative Extension Program, and Boards of County Commissioners Cooperating. Nick T. Place, dean for UF/IFAS Extension.