Verbenaceae, the vervain family.
Plant: Erect, often square stem, 2'-5', bears branching spikes of small blue flowers. Perennial.
Flowers: Small, blue or violet, tubular, about 1/8", with five petals or lobes, on a stiff spike. Flowers bloom progressively from the base to the tip of the spike; generally only a few rings of blooms are open at once.
Leaves: Opposite, narrowly ovate to lanceolate, to 6", toothed, rather rough-textured.
Fruit: Seedlike capsule.
Habitat: Moist fields, shorelines, roadsides.
One of several North American vervains, and probably the most attractive.
The European species V. officionales has a long history as a medicinal
plant for various ailments, but its actual effects, if any are unclear.
Where to find it:
Widely scattered on the northeast shore of the pond, and growing on one of
the island rocks near the northwest shoreline.