#19 - BLUE PORTERWEED (Stachytarpheta jamaicensis)
There are over 120 species of plants and trees at Mound House. This weeks’ subject is both a beautiful native plant and serves as a valuable medicinal resource in traditional medicine.
The verbena family, or “porterweeds” as they are commonly known, are present throughout the Caribbean, and in South Florida. A foaming, porter-like brew is made from the leaves of the plant and is used as a treatment for fever,as a wash for skin irritations and even as a treatment for worms in children, because honestly, nobody likes wormy children.
There are many varieties and even hybrids of porterweed in Florida and plants are often misidentified. Here in South Florida, it is believed that our native species of porterweed, Jamaica porterweed, which is found in coastal strands and tropical hammocks, has hybridized with a similar species from the Bahamas brought here by Bahamian settlers as medicinal plants. Here at Mound House ,the porterweed is grown not only on the native coastal hammock portion of our site, but also in the Scientific and Medicinal section of our gardens.
As an added bonus, blue porterweed is an excellent butterfly garden plant helping to make Mound House a “vacation destination” for many types of butterflies including the monarch, white sulpher, great white southern, mangrove skipper and mangrove buckeye that come to Mound House.