Veronicastrum is a genus of about 10 species of herbaceous perennials in the family Plantaginaceae, mostly native to North America.
Veronicastrum produces attractive foliage and clusters of small flowers on erect, tall stems from summer to fall. As a part of your garden landscape, these flowers will attract bees and butterflies to your garden.
The scientific name comes from the genus name “Veronica” and “astrum”, which means “star”.
The plant resembles a tall Veronica and was once placed in genus Veronica.
Dr. Culver, an American physician, discovered the healing properties of the root of this plant in the 18th century, hence the common name Culver’s root.
Veronicastrum symbolizes dignity.
Interesting facts about Veronicastrum:
Veronicastrum virginicum is the most popular variety of Veronicastrum.
It is native to the eastern United States, as well as regions of Canada. The species can be found in savannas, prairies, meadows, along river edges and on the hillsides. The plant is listed as threatened in Massachusetts, New York and Manitoba, and as endangered in Vermont. It is a great plant for attracting honey bees, bumble bees, and various wild solitary bees.
Veronicastrum virginicum is used in medical purposes, mostly in treatment of cough, fever and liver disorders. It was also used as a laxative and pain reliever. The plant was used for its therapeutic properties, as well as for spiritual purposes. Native Americans used the root as a “blood purifier”.
It’s also worth to mention that the herb has emetic properties. High doses can cause vomiting, nausea and diarrhea.
The flowers come in shades of white, purple and pink.
Veronicastrum reaches nearly 2 m (6 ft) in height.
Veronicastrum prefers fertile, moist and well drained soil. It tolerates a wide range of soil pH levels.