Verbena officinalis (common vervain) is a medicinal plant species widely distributed in the world and commonly used in folk medicine of different countries, including traditional Chinese medicine. Monographs on "Verbenae herba" have been included in the European Pharmacopoeia since 2008, and in the Chinese Pharmacopoeia since 1995. This work presents botanical characteristics of this species. It reviews the current knowledge of its chemical composition, which is a rich source mostly of iridoids, phenylpropanoid glycosides, phenolic acids, flavonoids, terpenoids, and essential oil.
It forms an evergreen rosette which overwinters. Erect, hairy, woody, square stems (to 70 cm) bear opposite leaves with the lower leaves deeply lobed with serrated edges. Clusters of small pinkish lilac flowers with a two-lipped, five lobed tubular corolla occur on slender branched spikes in June to September. The calyx is long and tubular and the fruit contains four nutlets.
This plant is useful.