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Purple Verbena

Purple Verbena
Photo: Robert Chin
Invasive Plant
Purple Verbena
Verbena rigida

A herbaceous perennial that is a troublesome garden escapee in many parts of Australia. Originating from South America, it is widely planted as it has attractive pale lilac to violet-blue flowers that appear for several months from mid-spring and is an effective ground cover. However, it has underground stems and rhizomes that persist even after bushfires and is capable of resprouting in a very short time.



  • It spreads by means of persistent rhizomes that will take hold readily if plants are disposed of indiscriminately.
  • It will also seed freely and this may be carried by wind or wildlife into bushland.
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Alternative Plants

Blue Periwinkle, Tropical Speedwell
Photo: Colin Wilson
Alternative Plant Blue Periwinkle, Tropical Speedwell
Evolvulus alsinoides (Syn. E. decumbens)
Climbing and Ground Cover Plants

A herbaceous perennial or subshrub, with erect or ascending branches to about 0.4 m that are typically hairy. It has blue to deep purple typical convolvulusshaped flowers and is endemic to Alice Springs area. It prefers a well-drained soil and will tolerate dry periods but will perform better if watered regularly. To flower well it should be planted in full-sun. It is quite hardy in garden situations.

Native Dessert Petunia
Photo: Gary Dinham
Alternative Plant Native Dessert Petunia
Dipteracanthus australasicus
Climbing and Ground Cover Plants

A well proportioned, rounded shrub to 0.6 m high by 0.3 m wide. It has very appealing large lilac-purple flowers that appear after rain in the wild. In gardens it is likely to be more freeflowering if water is available throughout the year. To keep plants neat and compact, prune lightly after flowering. It is frost tolerant and survives dry periods well.

Ruby Salt bush
Photo: Sustainable Landscapes Project
Alternative Plant Ruby Salt bush
Enchylaena tomentosa var. tomentosa
Enchylaena tomentosa var. glabra

Climbing and Ground Cover Plants

Very hardy and fast-growing grey leaved succulents that may reach a height of about 1 m but will spread to a diameter of 2 m or more. Plants readily self-seed in Alice Springs' gardens. Their yellow or red berries are edible. They are frost and drought tolerant.

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