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[ver-bee-nuh] /vərˈbi nə/
any of various plants of the genus Verbena, especially any of several hybrid species cultivated for their showy flower clusters.
Compare verbena family.
any of various other plants, as the lemon verbena or sand verbena.
Origin of verbena
1560-70; < Medieval Latin verbēna, Latin: leafy twig; see vervain Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for verbena
Historical Examples
  • Again in the verbena and Salvia, we have scarlet and blue, but no yellow.

    Your Plants James Sheehan
  • The smell of blood delighted him more than frankincense or verbena.

    The Days of Chivalry Ernest Louis Victor Jules L'Epine
  • This he would eat as he lay in a hot bath full of verbena salts.

    Up and Down Edward Frederic Benson
  • The garden was all ablaze with geranium and verbena, heliotrope and larkspur.

    Hildegarde's Home Laura E. Richards
  • Robert took out a little sprig of verbena, which he gave to Dorothea.

    Old Kensington Miss Thackeray
  • He laid the verbena and geranium on her lap, and she took them up mechanically.

    Verner's Pride Mrs. Henry Wood
  • What, not if I did my eyes with that Euphrasia and verbena officinalis?

    Magnum Bonum Charlotte M. Yonge
  • The verbena is one of the most satisfactory garden plants, blooming early.

  • His chapters on verbena and Artemisia reflect clearly the independence of his thought.

  • The tiny blue to purple flowers of the verbena are grouped in dense heads on decumbent stems.

    Flowers of Mountain and Plain Edith S. Clements
British Dictionary definitions for verbena


any plant of the verbenaceous genus Verbena, chiefly of tropical and temperate America, having red, white, or purple fragrant flowers: much cultivated as garden plants See also vervain
any of various similar or related plants, esp the lemon verbena
Word Origin
C16: via Medieval Latin, from Latin: sacred bough used by the priest in religious acts, vervain
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for verbena

genus of plants, the vervain, 1560s, from Latin verbena "leaves or twigs of olive, myrtle, laurel, or other sacred plants employed in religious ceremonies," from PIE *werbh- (cf. Lithuanian virbas "twig, branch, scion, rod"), from root *werb- "to turn, bend" (see warp (v.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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