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Culver's Root

The cadelabra inflorescences of this mid- to late-summer bloomer are striking especially when grown in a mass. They reach heights of 3 to 6 ft. and are constantly buzzing with a range of bees and butterflies. They enjoy bright sun at least five hours a day for best performance. They are best grown in medium to wet soils.

Veronicastrum virginicum is named for the similar looking flowers of Veronica. The suffix "-astrum" simply means 'false'. The species name 'virginicum' might make you think that it is especially will suited to the state of Virginia. Very likely, the ealiest specimens were collected in the Virginia Colony and sent back to botanists in Europe. Since so many early naturalists began their explorations and chose place names to describe their new discoveries, the specific epithet 'virginicum' was over used and not especially descriptive of the plants home range.

The common name, Culver's Root credits a physician of the late 17th and early 18th century who frequently prescribed the for its purgative properties. It became widely used as a laxative or for purging the body of unhealthy and unwanted substances.

This tall perennial has a stout stem, well placed in the back of a border. It is native to most of North America east of the Rocky Mountains. Dead heading once flowers are spent my produce new growth and late season flowers. It is generally pest-free and deer resistant

Culver's Root spreads through root sprouts and can be divided by division. Seed propagation may be difficult. Cold, moist stratification or winter sowing will give best results.

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