Friday, September 19, 2008

Cabbage White on Verbena Bonariensis


The garden is all a-flutter this time of year with many small moths and butterflies, including the Cabbage White Butterfly which seems to have a definite preference for Verbena Bonariensis.



And who wouldn't? It is a lovely plant, with it's stiff, widely branched stems and open, airy look. This native of Brazil and Argentina grows to 3-6 ft., flowers all summer until frost, and re-seeds readily. The 'see-through' quality of Verbena Bonariensis makes it a great weaver in the Cottage garden, and a good choice for the front or middle mixed border. Although it is said to be a Zone 7 perennial, it came back for me this year in my Zone 6 garden....where it was heartily welcomed. It also winter sows very well.

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Tip: Pinch out the first few shoots of Verbena Bonariensis in spring to encourage branching. The more you cut it back, the more shrub like it will become.


13 comments:

perennialgardener said...

One of my all time favorite perennials! I've had it in my garden for years. It was self sown here originally by a bird I think. :)

Defining Your Home said...

Fantastic photo! My stick verbena "mother plants" are a nice bushy 1 foot high, while the "kids" are tall and spindly! Love it. It fits in anywhere with the form factor and the color. I've got a lot of it clustered in my butterfly garden and am starting to move seedlings to other gardens.

Cat said...

Lovely, absolutely lovely!

Me said...

lovely photograph...

joey said...

You have captured the perfect pair ... a most lovely post!

Zoey said...

I like those cabbage white butterflies. I haven't seen many this year. Great photo!

Eve said...

I do not pinch back my shrubs in the spring the way I should. Some of them are looking a little spindly. I wish a white cabbage would come visit me. I have never seen one in person.

gardenpath said...

Oh, so that is what that tall stuff I have been seeing is!
We are seeing cabbage whites lately, alsl sulphers, but that is about all, as far as butterflies go.

Marie said...

I love butterflies :)
Lovley photo :)

Lisa Blair said...

Connie, I really want some verbena bonariensis. I see it growing in a few of the empty lots in my neighborhood, and I am thinking about grabbing some. How would I transplant it? Or should I just gather some of the seed? I am in zone 8.

Connie said...

Lisa - You could try digging up a clump and transplanting it, since it is hardy in your zone, but I think your best bet would be seeds. Since it is a self sower, now would be a good time to gather the seeds and sow them where you want them next season. Good luck!

Meems said...

A beautiful photo, Connie. Love the butterfly and the verbena... they do make a lovely pair.
Meems @Hoe&Shovel

Garden Bloggers said...

That's too cool. In my garden I can't get those white butterflies to pay attention to plants that I actually plant. They only come around and land on the weeds I let grow.