Ellen Zagory

Moss verbena is a tough, drought-tolerant ground cover that offers lots of flowers with little water or work.

Durable Delights: Moss verbena a great addition to butterfly garden

Published: Friday, Sep. 20, 2013 - 6:49 pm
Last Modified: Thursday, Oct. 10, 2013 - 6:52 pm

This is one part in a weekly series featuring the UC Davis Arboretum Durable Delights, 30 can’t-fail, easy-care plants well adapted to our region.

Moss verbena

Verbena tenuisecta

Size: Under 1 foot.

Bloom season: Spring, summer and fall

Pruning needs: Remove old flower stalks for tidy appearance and to encourage more flowers.

Exposure: Prefers full sun; will tolerate afternoon shade.

Water needs: Once established, water deeply every two weeks.

Snapshot: Want bees and butterflies to spend more time in your garden? A favorite for pollinators, this colorful evergreen perennial — which is often treated as a mounding annual — makes a great ground cover or border, blanketing beds with pretty purple flowers from late spring into fall. The finely cut leaves are attractive, too. With trailing growth and plentiful blooms, it also looks attractive in a hanging basket or container; the foliage and flowers spill delicately over the edge of the pot. Ideal for Sacramento, easy-care verbena loves heat, sun and well-drained soil, but will still bloom in areas with afternoon shade. You can see specimens in the arboretum’s Ruth Risdon Storer Garden of Valley-Wise Plants on the UC Davis campus.

• For more on Durable Delights, click on arboretum.ucdavis.edu.

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