Vervain, European

Verbena officinalis

Do not be misled by vervain’s diminutive appearance, this is a powerful herb with a rich history of therapeutic (and magical) use.

Of all our native herbs in the UK, this is surely the most mysterious. It is a small and rather spindly plant that can look a little ‘weedy’, yet it has for millenia been associated with supernatural forces and divine power; it was one of the Druid’s most sacred herbs and revered across Europe. Also known by names such as ‘holy herb’, ‘wizard’s herb’ and ‘enchanter’s plant’, there is something special about this little gem.

Vervain is thought to have have been introduced from Southern Europe in Neolithic times, but having been here for so long it is generally considered native. It is often found in rough grassland, waste ground and roadside verges, which points to its preference – or perhaps tolerance – for low nutrient, well-drained soils and full sunshine.

Being so slender, a single plant can get lost when mixed with other plants, so we recommend growing a decent sized clump of at least 10-20 plants to give it the space and attention it deserves.

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