Alphabetical Plant Listing

Stachytarpheta jamaicensis (Blue Porterweed)

Light-blue Snakeweed, Beach Vitex, Blue Porterweed, Joee, Jamaica Vervain, Stachytarpheta indica, Valerianoides jamaicensis


Stachytarpheta jamaicensis (Blue Porterweed) is a low-growing, sprawling, evergreen perennial or shrub with ascending to trailing stems ending in stringy spikes, 8-16 in. long (20-40 cm), of lilac, lavender, blue or purple flowers. Blooming on and off all year, usually more in summer and fall, the blossoms open 1 to 3 at a time from the bottom upwards for a long-lasting display. The small tubular flowers normally open only for a day, but fall within an hour when picked. They attract butterflies and hummingbirds to the landscape and rise above the rich, dark green foliage of opposite, lance-shaped, regularly toothed leaves, strongly nerved with the veins depressed above and prominent below. Blue Porterweed is an excellent addition to the butterfly garden as it is the host plant of the Tropical buckeye (Junonia evarete) and is a nectar source for many butterfly species including the Clouded skipper (Lerema accius), Gulf fritillary (Agraulis vanillae), Red admiral (Vanessa atalanta), Monarch (Danaus plexippus) and Julia (Dryas iulia). It is also frequently used in mass plantings along foundations, or as a clipped or natural unclipped hedge to provide continuous color to the landscape. Its low-growing habit makes it a lovely groundcover in dry, sunny areas. Native to tropical America, Blue Porterweed grows naturally in coastal dunes, shell mounds and disturbed areas.

  • Grows up to 1-3 ft. tall (30-90 cm) and 2-3 ft. wide (60-90 cm).
  • Performs best in full sun to light shade in a wide range of well-drained soils. It thrives in moist, fertile soils, but will also tolerate seasonal drought or poor soils. Plant grows poorly in dense shade. Tolerant of occasional/brief inundation, it is moderately tolerant of salty wind and salt spray.
  • Great for meadows, native plant gardens, as a groundcover or as a clipped or natural unclipped hedge.
  • Virtually pest and disease free.
  • Fertilize twice each year to maintain foliage color and promote continuous growth.
  • Prune as needed to maintain size and shape, or cut back significantly in spring to encourage more growth. Unclipped plants begin to open up as stems droop to the ground.
  • Propagate by seed, cuttings. Lifespan is about 5 years.
  • Native to tropical America but is now widespread in Central America, the Caribbean, East and Southern Asia and the Pacific. It is recorded as invasive in Kenya and Tanzania.

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Requirements

Hardiness 8 – 11
Plant Type Perennials, Shrubs
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 1' – 3' (30cm – 90cm)
Spread 2' – 3' (60cm – 90cm)
Spacing 36" – 48" (90cm – 120cm)
Water Needs Low, Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy
Native Plants United States, Southeast, Alabama, Florida
Tolerance Drought, Salt
Attracts Butterflies, Hummingbirds
Garden Uses Beds and Borders, Hedges and Screens
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage, Prairie and Meadow

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While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.


Requirements

Hardiness 8 – 11
Plant Type Perennials, Shrubs
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 1' – 3' (30cm – 90cm)
Spread 2' – 3' (60cm – 90cm)
Spacing 36" – 48" (90cm – 120cm)
Water Needs Low, Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy
Native Plants United States, Southeast, Alabama, Florida
Tolerance Drought, Salt
Attracts Butterflies, Hummingbirds
Garden Uses Beds and Borders, Hedges and Screens
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage, Prairie and Meadow

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