Priva lappulacea

Priva lappulacea (L.) Pers.

Common Names: Bur Vervain, Cat’s Tongue

Family: Verbenaceae

Habit: Priva lappulacea grows as an erect or prostrate annual or perennial herb up to 75 cm in height. The leaves are arranged oppositely, up to 7 cm in length, ovate/deltoid with a serrate leaf margin. The stems and leaves are covered with small hairs and are typically square in cross section.

The complete, perfect, zygomorphic flowers are arranged in terminal racemes that are up to 20 cm long, usually shorter. The flowers open continuously with new flowers appearing every few days. The calyx has 5 fused, pubescent, green sepals.  The corolla has 5 fused petals that are a white/pink with purple stripes and the lower lobe larger than the other ones. There are 4 stamens fused to the corolla.  The ovary is superior with 4 locules and numerous ovules. The fruit is an inflated capsule.

Habitat: Priva lappulacea grows in Human Altered environments (old fields, yards, roadsides).

Distribution: Priva lappulacea occurs throughout the island groupings of the Lucayan Archipelago, the Caribbean, Mexico, Central and northern South America and the southern United States.

Medicinal/Cultural/Economic usage: Priva lappulacea is not known to be used medicinally in the Lucayan Archipelago.