About fifty species of Stachytarpheta
are native to warm climates in Asia, and North
and South America. They are relatively small
herbs and shrubs. Several species have showy flower spikes and are cultivated
in gardens around the world. The blue porterweed is native to tropical America but is
naturalized in warm areas around the world, including south Florida. Three to four foot tall stems are
topped with slender spikes of dark blue flowers. These flowers attract
butterflies and hummingbirds to the garden. Plants have been used for medicinal
uses where native.
Light: full sun to part shade
Water: average water requirements, tolerates some drought
Soil: very adaptable
As a perennial, this porterweed is at its northern limit in Jacksonville. Plants die when winter low temperatures reach the mid-20’s. Volunteer seedlings may appear the following spring. In warmer climates, this plant may spread aggressively by seed.