Plant Listings

Stachytarpheta fruticosa

Stachytarpheta fruticosa B. L. Robins

Common Names:  Bahama Vervain, Blue Rat Tail

Family: Verbenaceae

Habit: Stachytarpheta fruticosa grows as a woody shrub up to 2 meters in height. The leaves are arranged oppositely and are up to 9 cm long. The leaves are ovate to elliptic in shape with a crenate/toothed leaf margin along the leaves upper half. The stems and leaves are covered with small hairs and are typically square in cross section.

The zygomorphic, complete, perfect flowers are arranged in terminal spikes that are up to 50 cm long, usually shorter. The flowers open continuously for months with 2-3 new flowers appearing every few days. The calyx has 5 fused, green  sepals.  The corolla has 5 fused petals that are a purplish blue that can range from a dark to light coloration. There are 4 stamens fused to the corolla.  The ovary is superior with two locules. The fruit is a capsule.

Habitat: Stachytarpheta fruticosa grows in human disturbed areas, salt flats, ephemeral fresh water wetlands, savannahs, and the edges of Dry Broadleaf Evergreen Formations (coppice)

Distribution in Bahamas/Globally: Stachytarpheta fruticosa is endemic to the Bahamian Archipelago and Cuba.  Within the Bahamas it occurs throughout the islands.

Medicinal/Cultural/Economic usage: Stachytarpheta fruticosa is not used medicinally in the Bahamas.