Grinwort, aka Blue Vervain – seed packet – $2.99
Related tags: smokeable, water-lover
(Verbena hastata) Perennial in the Verbena Family. To five high, with purple flowers on spikes. Flavor is bitter. Was once used instead of Hops in beermaking. We call it “Grinwort” because it makes you grin when you eat or smoke it, even if you don’t believe it will. A useful medicinal. We started growing it for its nervine qualities (dealing with stress), but it is also beneficial for the upper respiratory tract and for fighting colds.
Planting suggestions: Direct seed around the time of the last frost, or start indoors earlier than that and transplant out. Thin to 18-24 inches apart. Can take full sun but wants regular watering, such as by including it on a soaker hose set-up. Hardy. One of the few plants that thrived at our 2011 location on a former grass-seed farm with poor soil. Give it good soil if you can, though! For medicine, harvest the just-flowering tops. You can pinch back the foliage tips at least twice beforehand, to make the branches double and get a bigger harvest.
Contains at least 200 seeds. Packed for 2016.