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Stachytarpheta jamaicensis

Pronunciation: stay-kee-tar-FEE-tuh ja-may-KEN-sis
Family: Verbenaceae
Synonym: Stachytarpheta indica, Stachytarpheta urticifolia, Valerianoides jamaicensis, Verbena jamaicensis
Common Name: Light-blue Snakeweed, Porterweed
Plant Type:
  • trees, shrubs
  • perennial
Height to: 3ft
Width to: 3ft
USDA Hardiness Zones:
  • 30 to 20ºF ZONE 9
  • 40 to 30ºF ZONE 10
  • 50 to 40ºF ZONE 11
Sun Exposure:
  • part sun
  • full sun
Bloom Season:
  • repeat bloomer
Bloom Description: Light-blue Snakeweed (Stachytarpheta jamaicensis) roduce a cluster of one to seven tubular, five-lobed, 0.3 inches long and wide, bl ue-violet to magenta flowers. Each flower lasts one day. The next day’s succession of flowers is a little bit higher on the inflorescence until the last flowers at the tip of the spike have bloomed.
Soil Type: Accepts most poor soil
Plant Perks:
  • Salt Tolerant
  • Drought Tolerant
Pests and Diseases: No serious pests or diseases are known to affect porterweed.
Propagation: Light-blue Snakeweed (Stachytarpheta jamaicensis) self seeds readily.
Native to: Florida and the Caribbean
Winter Sowing Zones: None
Notes for Identification:

Light-blue Snakeweed  (Stachytarpheta jamaicensis) is a bushy, upright, fast growing evergreen perennial or subshrub.


It is considered native to the Southern tip of Florida. It grows on dunes, shell middens, pine rocklands but more commonly on disturbed sites. Its native range also includes the Caribbean, the Bahamas, Bermuda and Mexico, and throughout Central America to Brazil and Ecuador. It is now a pantropical weed present in east and west Africa, Madagascar, the Ryukyu Islands of Japan, Taiwan, the Indian Subcontinent, Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia and on many Pacific Islands.


Porterweed is frequently used in a mass planting along a foundation, or as a clipped or natural unclipped hedge to provide continuous color to the landscape. Space plants about 3 to 4 feet apart. A row will maintain a nice uniform shape for 6 or more months without pruning. Regular clipping can maintain a uniform shape for more than a year before the plant needs to be cut back to thicken the growth. Unclipped plants begin to open up as stems droop to the ground. For this reason, they are usually cut back each year, or any time the plant becomes leggy. This allows new growth to fill in and thicken the plant.

Locate porterweed in a sunny location in any soil. Provide irrigation during establishment and then in extended drought in the summer. Fertilize about twice each year to maintain foliage color and provide for continuous growth.

Can be invasive.


Source: Various sources including The University of Florida and the USDA

USDA Heat Zones (days above 86ºF):
  • 120 to 150 days ZONE 9
  • 150 to 180 days ZONE 10
  • 180 to 210 days ZONE 11
Seed photo: 0
Seed Label: 0
Located in: Perennials
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