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Verbena speciosa 'Imagination' 'Imagination' Verbena

Edward F. Gilman, Ryan W. Klein, and Gail Hansen


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.

Full Form - Verbena speciosa 'Imagination': 'Imagination' verbena.
Figure 1. Full Form - Verbena speciosa 'Imagination': 'Imagination' verbena.
Credit: Edward F. Gilman, UF/IFAS


Full Form - Verbena speciosa 'Imagination': 'Imagination' verbena.
Figure 2. Leaf - Verbena speciosa 'Imagination': 'Imagination' verbena.
Credit: Edward F. Gilman, UF/IFAS


Full Form - Verbena speciosa 'Imagination': 'Imagination' verbena.
Figure 3. Flower - Verbena speciosa 'Imagination': 'Imagination' verbena.
Credit: Edward F. Gilman, UF/IFAS

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 (Figure 4)

Planting month for zone 10 and 11: Feb; Mar; Apr; May; Jun; Jul; Aug; Sep; Oct; Nov; Dec

Origin: not native to North America

Invasive potential: aggressive, spreading plant

Uses: mass planting; ground cover; attracts butterflies; cascading down a wall; hanging basket

Availability: generally available in many areas within its hardiness range

Shaded area represents potential planting range.
Figure 4. Shaded area represents potential planting range.


Height: 1 to 1.5 feet

Spread: 3 to 5 feet

Plant habit: spreading

Plant density: moderate

Growth rate: moderate

Texture: fine


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 color: purple; violet-blue

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


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


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


Roots: not applicable

Winter interest: no special winter interest

Outstanding plant: plant has outstanding ornamental features and could be planted more

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.

Publication #FPS-600

Release Date:February 5, 2024

Related Collections

Part of Shrubs Fact Sheets

Related Topics

  • Critical Issue: 1. Agricultural and Horticultural Enterprises
Organism ID

About this Publication

This document is FPS-600, one of a series of the Department of Environmental Horticulture, UF/IFAS Extension. Original publication date October 1999. Revised October 2023. Visit the EDIS website at for the currently supported version of this publication.

About the Authors

Edward F. Gilman, professor emeritus; Ryan W. Klein, assistant professor, arboriculture; and Gail Hansen, professor, sustainable landscape design; Department of Environmental Horticulture, UF/IFAS Extension, Gainesville, FL 32611.


  • Gail Hansen de Chapman
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