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Stachytarpheta cayennensis

Pronunciation: stay-kee-tar-FEE-tuh kae-yen-EN-sis
Family: Verbenaceae
Synonym: Verbena cayennensis, Stachytarpheta urticaefolia
Common Name: Blue Porterweed, Purple Porterweed, Blue Rat's Tail, Verbena Azul, Cayenne Snakeweed
Plant Type:
  • trees, shrubs
  • perennial
Height to: 4 to 6 ft
Width to: 3 ft
USDA Hardiness Zones:
  • 30 to 20ºF ZONE 9
  • 40 to 30ºF ZONE 10
  • 50 to 40ºF ZONE 11
Sun Exposure:
  • part sun
Bloom Season:
  • repeat bloomer
Bloom Description: Blue Porterweed (Stachytarpheta cayennensis) produce blue flowers
Soil Type: accepts most moist but well drained soil
  • No
Plant Perks:
  • Medicinal
  • Container Gardening
  • Salt Tolerant
  • Drought Tolerant
  • Attracts Butterflies
  • Mass Planting
Pests and Diseases: no pest problems During wet summer months leaf and spike spotting and twig dieback can occur due to the fungal disease Anthracnose (Gloeosporium sp./spp.). These fungi are quick to invade foliage stressed by such factors as pesticide burn, mechanical and insect damages, and weather stress including prolonged leaf wetness. When this occurs, prune and discard severely infested plant tissue as feasible. Avoid overhead irrigation
Propagation: propagate Blue Porterweed (Stachytarpheta cayennensis) by seed or stem cuttings, will self seed
Native to: Native to Mexico, Central America the Caribbean, tropical South America, and the Galapagos Islands
Notes for Identification:

In some places this plant is simply naturalized. It may be a casual weed, a "garden thug", a crop pest, or an invasive species with effects on the local ecosystem 

The plant is a low-growing, horizontally, sprawling, perennial, herbaceous or semi-woody shrub. The newer stems are green and four-sided. They are attached to short woody, gray-brown branches at the base of the plant. The height of the plant, not counting the bloom spikes, averages from 2 to 3 feet tall and up to 6 feet wide. When grown unencumbered, the plant is dense and usually circular in shape.


Blue Porterweed (Stachytarpheta cayennensis) is a bushy upright perennial in frost free areas producing spikes of lavender flowers from spring to fall on quill like spikes blooms. The flowers are a favorite to butterflies and hummingbirds. The leaves are said to be eaten raw in salads and this plant also has medicinal properties.  Grown as a annual in the north~Source: Accents for Home and Garden

USDA Heat Zones (days above 86ºF):
  • 120 to 150 days ZONE 9
  • 150 to 180 days ZONE 10
  • 180 to 210 days ZONE 11
  • Greater then 210 ZONE 12
Seed photo: 0
Seed Label: 0
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