Verbena bonariensis

F&F member Julie Knight has fallen in love with the airy fairy Verbena bonariensis.

As July turns to August, spring and summer flowers start to fade or complete their transition to seedheads. Late-flowering perennials such as the beautiful Verbena bonariensis prolong colour in the garden through to the autumn. Since discovering this plant only last year, I see it everywhere I turn as many a gardener appreciates its character and qualities.

It develops as a statuesque plant, supporting tiny vibrant purple flowers on slender upright stems. It looks as good at the centre of an island bed as it does at the front of a border, where its airy graceful habit allow a view through to plants beyond. It is increasingly used in contemporary designs within drifts of grasses and naturalistic prairie planting. Bees absolutely love it and it will self seed profusely if left uncut at the end of the flowering period.

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