Rough Verbena, Stiff Verbena, Sandpaper Verbena, Upright Verbena, Tuberous Vervain

Verbena rigida

Family: Verbenaceae (ver-be-NAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Verbena (ver-BEE-nuh) (Info)
Species: rigida (RIG-ih-duh) (Info)
Synonym:Verbena rigida var. lilacina
Synonym:Verbena rigida var. rigida
Synonym:Verbena venosa




Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


6-12 in. (15-30 cm)

12-18 in. (30-45 cm)


6-9 in. (15-22 cm)

9-12 in. (22-30 cm)


USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:


Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall

Mid Fall






Other details:

May be a noxious weed or invasive

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)

From herbaceous stem cuttings

Seed Collecting:

Collect seedhead/pod when flowers fade; allow to dry


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Tuskegee, Alabama

Chandler, Arizona

El Mirage, Arizona

Phoenix, Arizona

Prescott Valley, Arizona

Scottsdale, Arizona

Fallbrook, California

Merced, California

Georgetown, Florida

Villa Rica, Georgia

Jeffersonville, Indiana

Waynesboro, Mississippi

Albuquerque, New Mexico

Gastonia, North Carolina

Austin, Texas (2 reports)

Beaumont, Texas

Conroe, Texas

Desoto, Texas

Hutto, Texas

Livingston, Texas

Mesquite, Texas

New Braunfels, Texas

New Caney, Texas

Red Oak, Texas

Rice, Texas

Round Top, Texas

Texas City, Texas

Weatherford, Texas

Dammeron Valley, Utah

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Feb 21, 2012, Beekeepthyme from Georgetown, FL wrote:

I started this plant from seeds, relatively easy, and now I can see the personality of V. rigida! It looks like it will be a very strong and vivacious plant. I keep bees, and aim for plants the pollinators will enjoy. It has attractive tough dark green leaves and just starting to bloom--I think it will suit my N.Florida place fine. The deer have not bothered it at all (too busy eating my roses and citrus!) It needs room to spread, I think, and appreciates compost and some water until established. Who does not? The violet blue color is arresting and very attractive. Looks like a winner........


On May 22, 2011, egardens from Hutto, TX wrote:

I do very much like the purple display this plant makes, which pretty much never stops, except in the dead of winter, which by the way does not actually do much harm to this plant in zone 8. It is indestructible once it gets started, just some dead top growth again in the winter. Now on to the reason for this post. Warning for Verbena rigida. In zone 8 this plant is winter hardy and will spread with runners (lots), suckers (again, lots), and seed (few). It is very slow to start but after the first year be prepared to mow it down all around wherever you are trying to contain it, which it really can't be contained 100%. Mine came as seed with some other wildflower seed I ordered. Prolific bloomer and holds the blooms for a very long time, leaves are sharp to the touch and somewhat serrated.


On May 16, 2007, krdixon from Albuquerque, NM (Zone 7a) wrote:

When I moved into my house, I entirely replanted the backyard, with the exception of two plants. One was a Lilac bush that I cared for while everything else withered in the Albuquerque, NM summer heat. The only plant that lived, despite 8 months of no watering and the occasional attempts to uproot it, was a Verbena rigida (I had no idea what it was at the time). Since it clearly demonstrated a strong will to live, I decided to see how the plant behaved. And I've been thoroughly impressed.

The vivid purple flowers are very attractive to butterflies and bloom from mid Spring until the first hard frost. The plant is a fast-growing groundcover with a very low habit. The folliage is pretty, but is unpleasant to touch (thus "Sandpaper Verbena"). For some strange reason, my ... read more


On Sep 8, 2003, AusTXpropagater from Austin, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

Verbena rigida happily grows in lawns and roadside easements in Central and Coastal Texas. I've seen it thriving in soggy ditches and hard-pan road embankments. Its tuberous roots enable it to survive drought conditions and may go dry-dormant. With regular watering, this plant may spread rapidly but if you like deep purple verbena flowers for months on end and butterflies, you probably won't mind the occasional need to pull up stray rhizomes.