Growing "Verveine" for Tea
Answered by: Conrad Richter
Question from: Lisa
Posted on: April 25, 2002

I am interested in growing vervein, but know nothing about it except that I love it as an herbal tea. What zones can it grow in (I’m in Michigan in zone 5)? Is it invasive? Does it like shade or sun?

By the spelling you use we assume you mean the french "verveine". Some imported packaged herb teas use this french spelling (with the "e"). "Verveine" commonly refers to several different plants, known in english as "vervain" and "lemon verbena".

Vervain is mainly known as a medicinal herb that is taken as a tea. There are two main forms: european vervain (Verbena officinalis) and blue vervain (Verbena hastata) which have sedative and tranquillizing effects. The tea made from aboveground parts of the plant is described as "slightly bitter". Both varieties are hardy to at least zone 4, and are easy to grow in moist, sunny or partially shaded locations.

Lemon verbena is a very different. It is a small shrub or tree that comes from Chile in South America. It is hardy only to zones 8-10. It is known as "verveine odorante" in french. This is likely what is in the tea that you enjoy so much. It has a wonderfully refreshing lemon flavour.

All varieties are available from Richters. Check under "V" herbs for the vervains and for verbena, lemon, in our online catalogue.

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