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Porterweed Blue

​​Porterweed Blue

Stachytarpheta jamaicensis

  • Common Name: Porterweed (Blue) (other common names: Blue Rat Tail, Aquaraponda and Verbena Azul)
  • Scientific Name: Stachytarpheta jamaicensis (There is a hybrid Stachytarpheta x intercedens that looks like the native but grows 2’ -3’).
  • Family Name: Verbenaceae
  • Origin: Native to Florida.
  • Height: 1’, (not including its blue-flowered spikes and height varies by species).
  • Width: Sprawling (3’ – 5’ spacing).
  • Growth: Fast
  • Zone: 9B - 11
  • Light Needs: Full sun – partial shade.
  • Salt Tolerance: Moderate
  • Soil/PH/Texture: Tolerates sandy or clay soils, slightly acidic – neutral (pH 6.1 – 7.5 -  but is adaptable).
  • Soil Moisture: Somewhat moist- after it is established it has low water needs besides during droughts.
  • Drought Tolerance: High
  • Pests/Diseases: No serious pests or diseases.
  • Growing Conditions: Low maintenance, may overwinter if it is protected from the cold. Plants that survive the winter but die back to the ground should be cut back just before new spring growth resumes.
  • Characteristics: This evergreen has dark green fuzzy leaves with sharply toothed margins on their leaves. How you can tell the difference from its non-native relatives - is it has trailing stems and lance-shaped leaves and it likes to sprawl rather than grow up-right. Its flowers are small, blue and appear in numbers on long spikes at the end of its stems. These flowers bloom from summer to fall.
  • Propagation: By seed or cuttings.
  • Wildlife: Attracts butterflies, bees and hummingbirds.
  • Facts: It is a host plant for the tropical buckeye and a nectar source for many butterfly species.
  • Designer Considerations: Makes a good groundcover because it likes to sprawl.  Is used as accent for a mixed garden bed, lining on sides of walkways, informal foundation shrub, surrounding the base of a specimen plant. Good for xeriscaping and container plant that is 3 gallon or larger and well-drained.​​

Location


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