I have come across several who hate it, but let me tell you why Verbena bonariensis is a favorite of mine. I first saw it in a magazine article about Christopher Lloyd’s garden after he tore out all the roses and went tropicalisimo. There the great man stood in a bright purple shirt, surrounded by flaming red cannas and a flurry of purple polka dots that turned out to be the flowers of the plant in question. I’m a sucker for really tall plants and these definitely qualify. Far from needing to be relegated to the back of a border, these form a kind of scrim through which the plants peeking through gain perspective and look even better. Let me demonstrate:
It looks good with a light green background,
or against dark, winey foliage.
It even perks up this uninteresting dark cement wall.
In some lights it looks almost pink (Grace, are you with me?) but it’s really purple, I swear.
True, it is a prolific seeder. I suffer through the weeding, but one could get around it by deadheading (if you choose to do this, the plant will continue to make more flowers right through to frost). Thankfully, the young plants come out with a gentle tug.