Verbena officinalis, Verbena domingensis, Verbena macrostachya,
Common Verbena, Common Vervain, Simpler's Joy, Holy Herb,
ורבנה רפואית

Scientific name:  Verbena officinalis L.
Synonym name:  Verbena domingensis Urb., Verbena macrostachya F.Muell.
Common name:  Common Verbena, Common Vervain, Simpler's Joy, Holy Herb
Hebrew name:  ורבנה רפואית
Family:  Verbenaceae, Verbena family or Vervain family, ורבניים

Verbena officinalis, Verbena domingensis, Verbena macrostachya, Common Verbena, Common Vervain, Simpler's Joy, Holy Herb, ורבנה רפואית

Life form:  Perennial herb, hemicryptophyte
Stems:  Erect quadrangular stem growing to 80 cm tall
Leaves:  Opposite, dissected, pinnate, dentate or serrate, petioles
Flowers:  Tubular pale pink to lilac flower, borne in spikes, hermaphrodite
Fruits / pods:  Separate into 4 individual nutlets
Flowering Period:  May, June, July, August, September, October
Habitat:  Humid habitats
Distribution:  Mediterranean Woodlands and Shrublands, Semi-steppe shrublands, Shrub-steppes, Deserts and extreme deserts, Montane vegetation of Mt. Hermon
Chorotype:  Subtropical -Tropical
Summer shedding:  Perenating

Verbena officinalis, Verbena domingensis, Verbena macrostachya, Common Verbena, Common Vervain, Simpler's Joy, Holy Herb, ורבנה רפואית


Derivation of the botanical name:
Verbena, an ancient Latin name of the common European vervain.
officinalis, derived from opificina, shortened to officina, originally a workshop, later a monastic storeroom, then a herb-store, pharmacy or drug-shop.
domingensis, meaning from Dominica, refer to the plants's native habitat.
macrostachya, macros μακροϛ long, tall; stachys σταχυϛ spike, ear of corn; large spikes.
  • The standard author abbreviation L. is used to indicate Carl Linnaeus (1707 – 1778), a Swedish botanist, physician, and zoologist, the father of modern taxonomy.
  • The standard author abbreviation Urb. is used to indicate Ignatz Urban (1848 – 1931), a German botanist.
  • The standard author abbreviation F.Muell. is used to indicate Ferdinand von Mueller (1825 – 1896), a German-Australian physician, geographer, and most notably, a botanist.

Pliny the Elder(23-79 CE), Gaius Plinius Secundus, a Roman historian and author of "Natural History", Book XXV. 109: "No plant however is so renowned among the Romans as hiera botane ("sacred plant"). Some call it asistereon, and Latin writers verbenaca. This is the plant which I mentioned as carried to the enemy by envoys." With this the table of Jupiter is swept, and homes are cleansed and purified".
Dioscorides (circa 40—90 CE), in his book Περὶ ὕλης ἰατρικῆς (Greek), De Materia Medica (Latin), recommends 1 drachm (4 g) of ‘Hiera Botane’ or sacred herb Verbena officinalis mixed with half as much frankincense in 1 cotyle (274 mL) of aged wine, taken warm on an empty stomach for 4 days in cases of jaundice.

Israel, Travel, Nature, Wildflowers, Pictures