COMMON NAME: Almond Verbena
BOTANICAL NAME: Aloysia virgata
Also called sweet almond verbena and is the most beneficial insect-attracting plant I have ever grown and the fragrance is wonderful.
HEIGHT: 10’ - 15'
SPREAD: 8’ - 10'
LOCATION: It thrives in full sun but can adapt to partial shade. In the US, it grows from Missouri south and does particularly well in California and Texas. It is hardy in the southern areas of the UK and would be very successful in Australia.
HABIT: Large deciduous woody shrub or perennial for full sun to light shade. Spikes of white blooms all summer. Strongly resembles Buddleia. Mostly evergreen in the South, with fine-textured gray-green foliage.
CULTURE: Few if any disease and insect pest problems. Easy to grow in well-drained beds in most soils. It has low water and fertilization requirements. Prune between bloom cycles for dense growth. Hardiness zone 8 - 11. Prune away dead wood early spring at bud swell. Needs to be used as an annual in the north.
USES: Summer color, very pleasant and strong fragrance.
PROBLEMS: Freeze damage in colder areas. Not as easy to find as it should be. The main drawbacks to sweet almond verbena are its rarity in nurseries and cold hardiness. In cold winter locales, it may die to the ground and sprout again in spring.
NOTES: Native of Argentina, it has an upright habit with slightly weeping, sometimes ungainly branches. In mild winter areas, the mature plants reach 15 feet in height and 6 feet in width. At the branch tips are highly fragrant, delicate white flower spikes which sway gracefully at the slightest breeze, sending their aroma wafting over great distances. The buddleia-like flowers are produced in cycles from early spring through summer to fall. The wonderful flowers are a magnet to butterflies, bees, wasps and other nectar feeding pollinators