Verbenaceae  J. St.-Hil., nom. cons.

pronounced: ver-be-NAY-see-eye

the lantana or vervain family

Verbena tube flaring into 4 or 5 lobes (more often used in the plural, verbenæ) was the Latin name for a branch of, especially, olive, laurel or myrtle used ceremonially. Linnaeus gave the name to the Vervain genus, which was thought to have magical powers, especially to avert the power of witches. The classification of Verbenaceae is in a state of flux, especially regarding its relationship to Lamiaceae. Clerodendrum and Vitex, in particular, are still often placed in Verbenaceae rather than Lamiaceae. Members of Verbenaceae have opposite or whorled leaves that are usually undivided. The flowers are in spikes, clusters or racemes, and usually have a tube flaring into 4 or 5 almost equally cut lobes. Frequently they have quadrangular twigs and aromatic leaves.


Citharexylum spinosum - Jamaican Fiddlewood

Duranta erecta - Geisha Girl

Duranta repens (syn.) - Geisha Girl

Lantana camara - Lantana

Petrea arborea (syn.) - Queen's Wreath

Petrea aspera (syn.) - Queen's Wreath

Petrea volubilis - Queen's Wreath

Stachytarpheta jamaicensis - Snakeweed

Stachytarpheta mutabilis - Pink Porterweed


Photograph © Donald Simpson 2014

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