Verbena carnea

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Verbena carnea
Stylodon carneus PHFP A 2015-05-18 KMR.JPG
Photo taken by Kevin Robertson
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Order: Lamiales
Family: Verbenaceae
Genus: Verbena
Species: V. carnea
Binomial name
Verbena carnea
(Medik.) Moldenke
STYL CARN dist.jpg
Natural range of Verbena carnea from USDA NRCS Plants Database.

Common names: Carolina false vervain, Carolina-vervain

Taxonomic notes

Synonyms: Stylodon carneus (Medikus) Moldenke; Stylodon carolinensis (Walter) Small.[1]


"Annual or perennial herbs with erect, or ascending to prostrate, quadrangular stems. Leaves simple, opposite. Flowers in terminal, bracteate spikes, the spike usually cymose, paniculate, or solitary. Calyx 5-lobed, lobed united to near apex, the lower usually longer than the upper; corolla salverform, zygomorphic to nearly actinomorphic; stamens included, attached to upper part of corolla tube at 2 levels; stigmas 2, style 1, locules 3. Fruit a schizocarp of 3 mericarps. Mericarps oblong, brown, usually lustrous, and rounded on back, white, grayish or tan, warty or muricate, and flattened on inner surface. Mericarps that separate readily are usually more warty or muricate than those that adhere tightly."[2]

"Erect to ascending perennial, nonstoloniferous, 4-9 dm tall, branched above. Leaves elliptic, oblong or oblanceolate, 4-9 cm long, 1.2-3 cm wide, obtuse to acute, serrate, usually doubly, base attenuate, the uppermost pair of leaves just below the first branches usually pair of basal lobes. Spikes 1-5, terminating the stem, stiffly erect or arching, 1.5-4 dm long, 8-12 mm in diam., flowers imbricate to distant, fruit distant; bracts 1/2 -1X length of calyx. Calyx 3-4.5 mm long, lobes curved inward, not connivent in fruit; corolla pink or pinkish lavender, more than 2X as long as the calyx, lobes 4-6 mm long; bracts, calyx and corolla tube pubescent. Rachis stipitate-glandular. Mericarps all well developed, tightly adhering, appearing as one, 2.8-3 mm long."[2]




In the Coastal Plain in Florida and Georgia, V. carnea can be found in mixed pine-hardwood stands, burned pinelands, pine-mixed oak-wiregrass communities, and longleaf pine-wiregrass sand ridges.[3] Has been observed to grow in loamy sand.[3]


It has been documented flowering in April and October and fruiting in May.[3]

Fire ecology

Populations of Verbena carnea have been known to persist through repeated annual burning.[4]

The flowers from resprouted vegetation within one month after burning during the growing season (KMR).[5]

Conservation, cultivation, and restoration

Cultural use

Photo Gallery

References and notes

  1. Weakley, A.S. 2015. Flora of the southern and mid-atlantic states. Working Draf of 21 May 2015. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Radford, Albert E., Harry E. Ahles, and C. Ritchie Bell. Manual of the Vascular Flora of the Carolinas. 1964, 1968. The University of North Carolina Press. 890. Print.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Florida State University Robert K. Godfrey Herbarium database. URL: Last accessed: July 2015. Collectors: Loran C. Anderson, Rodie White, R. Komarek, R. A. Norris, Robert K. Godfrey, Richard R. Clinebell II, T. MacClendon, - Boothes. States and Counties: Florida: Jackson, Leon, Wakulla. Georgia: Decatur, Grady, Thomas. Compiled by Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy.
  4. Platt, W.J., R. Carter, G. Nelson, W. Baker, S. Hermann, J. Kane, L. Anderson, M. Smith, K. Robertson. 2021. Unpublished species list of Wade Tract old-growth longleaf pine savanna, Thomasville, Georgia.
  5. Observations at Pebble Hill Plantation, Thomasville, GA in upland longleaf pine-wiregrass on Ultisols in or near long-term research plots, 2015.