1. Family: Verbenaceae J.St.-Hil.
    1. Genus: Verbena L.
      1. Species: Verbena officinalis L.
        1. Verbena officinalis var. africana (R.Fern. & Verdc.) Munir

        This variety is accepted, and its native range is W. Medit., NE. Tropical to S. Africa to Australia.

    [FZ]

    Flora Zambesiaca. Vol 8, Pt 7. Avicenniaceae, R. Fernandes. Nesogenaceae, M.A. Diniz. Verbenaceae, R. Fernandes. Lamiaceae, R. Fernandes. 2005.

    General
    An erect perennial, rarely annual, herb 60–160 cm tall
    Stem
    Stem leafy, unbranched below and with a few long inflorescence branches above, ± woody and subterete at the base, 4-angled above with angles hispid and faces flat or slightly sulcate, the faces sparsely hispid with short tubercle-based hairs intermixed with short glandular hairs
    Leaves
    Leaves 4–10.5 cm long and 2.5–8 cm wide, ± ovate in outline, 3-partite to pinnatifid, acute or obtuse at the apex, attenuate or narrowly cuneate at the base into a slightly winged petiole, semiamplexicaul; terminal leaf-segment up to 4.5 cm long, deeply lobed with lobes dentate; lateral segments up to 3.2 cm long and bluntly serrate, narrower and more deeply divided and with more numerous teeth in mid-stem leaves; lamina scabridulous, shortly appressed hispidulous and drying dark green on the upper surface, sparsely shortly spreading setose on the lower surface, with the midrib and main lateral nerves prominent and densely hispid below, slightly revolute on the margin; leaves of upper stem and branches often lanceolate or oblanceolate to linear in outline, acute, subsessile, sparsely toothed to subentire
    Inflorescences
    Inflorescences of numerous elongate terminal and axillary slender spikes 5.5–26 cm long, rhachis and floral bracts glandular-pubescent, the youngest flowers closely spaced at the spike apex and the maturing flowers becoming more widely spaced toward the base of the spike as the rhachis elongates; bracts ± equalling the calyx in length, lanceolate or ovate-lanceolate, attenuate-acuminate, covered with short whitish hairs interspersed with sparse glandular hairs on the outside, ciliate on the margins
    Calyx
    Calyx 2–2.5 mm long in flower, subcylindric, glandular pubescent outside, teeth c. 0.4 mm long, fruiting calyx slightly overtopping the bracts
    Corolla
    Corolla small, lilac or mauve to magenta, purple, violet or blue, glabrous; tube c. 2.5 mm long, narrowly cylindric, constricted below the limb; limb subequally 5-lobed, with lobes 0.75–2 mm long, lower lobe 1.75 mm wide, upper lobe 1.25 mm wide
    Style
    Style c. 1 mm long
    Fruits
    Mericarps 1.5–2 mm long, 3–4-striate, longitudinally raised-reticulate in upper part, minutely densely whitish tuberculate at the commissural face.
    Ecology
    Very local then frequent in damp soil, in dambos and stream margins and in wooded grassland; also in old cultivation and on roadsides; 1300–1500 m.
    Note
    The typical taxon occurs in Europe, the Middle East, Asia to China and Indonesia, Canary Islands and North Africa, now introduced almost throughout the world.   What is called V. officinalis shows a great deal of variation throughout the Old World, and Verdcourt, in F.T.E.A., Verbenaceae: 8 (1992), considers it possible that the East African and Flora Zambesiaca taxon represents an extreme variant introduced into Africa, where it has become naturalized.  It is also possible that subsp. africana corresponds to an American taxon, because it also has affinities with V. riparia Rafin. ex Small & Heller, V. ehrenbergiana Schauer and V. hallei Small. Although this taxon has been called V. officinalis by some African botanists and collectors it is nevertheless distinct from typical V. officinalis .   It is distinguished by the leaves more deeply divided, and the lobes more acutely serrate; by the floral bracts which are relatively longer and narrower, being lanceolate or ovate-lanceolate, attenuate-acuminate, up to 2.5 mm long and equalling the calyx (in V. officinalis these bracts are ovate, up to 1.5 mm long and shorter than the calyx).   It is also distinguished by the flowering calyx which is cylindric, (not ellipsoid as in V. officinalis ); by the corolla tube which is cylindric becoming constricted just below the limb, (in V. officinalis it widens continuously towards the limb); by the style slightly longer (1 mm versus 0.75 mm), and more exserted than in V. officinalis ; and by the mericarps slightly longer.
    Distribution
    Zambia Zimbabwe Also in Dem. Rep. Congo, Sudan, Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa (KwaZulu-Natal, Transvaal) and possibly elsewhere in tropical Africa; also in Nepal and Taiwan. District code: ZIM C, ZIM S, ZIM N, ZIM C, ZIM E.

    Distribution

    Native to:

    China South-Central, China Southeast, Eritrea, Ethiopia, France, Japan, Kenya, KwaZulu-Natal, Morocco, Nansei-shoto, New South Wales, Northern Provinces, Northern Territory, Philippines, Queensland, Rwanda, Somalia, South Australia, Sudan, Taiwan, Tanzania, Tasmania, Thailand, Uganda, Victoria, Zambia, Zaïre, Zimbabwe

    Introduced into:

    Free State, New Zealand North, New Zealand South

    Verbena officinalis var. africana (R.Fern. & Verdc.) Munir appears in other Kew resources:

    First published in J. Adelaide Bot. Gard. 20: 82 (2002)

    Accepted by

    • Retief, E. & Meyer, N.L. (2017). Plants of the Free State inventory and identification guide Strelitzia 38: 1-1236. National Botanical Institute, Pretoria.

    Not accepted by

    • O'Leary, N., Múlgura, M.E. & Morrone, O. (2010). Revisión taxonómica de las especies del género Verbena (Verbenaceae). II: serie Verbena Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden 97: 365-424. [Cited as Verbena officinalis var. natalensis.]
    • Govaerts, R. (2004). World Checklist of Monocotyledons Database in ACCESS: 1-54382. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. [Cited as Verbena officinalis subsp. africana.]

    Literature

    Kew Backbone Distributions
    • Retief, E. & Meyer, N.L. (2017). Plants of the Free State inventory and identification guide Strelitzia 38: 1-1236. National Botanical Institute, Pretoria.
    • O'Leary, N., Múlgura, M.E. & Morrone, O. (2010). Revisión taxonómica de las especies del género Verbena (Verbenaceae). II: serie Verbena Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden 97: 365-424.

    Sources

    Flora Zambesiaca
    Flora Zambesiaca
    http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0

    Kew Backbone Distributions
    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2019. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
    © Copyright 2017 World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0

    Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone
    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2019. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
    © Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0