About 550 species of annuals and perennials, subshrubs and shrubs mainly from the Americas, particularly south, the rest from Europe and Asia. They have opposite pairs or whorls of simple or lobed leaves and terminal corymbs, panicles or spikes (sometimes head-like) of small, tubular, sometimes asymmetric flowers with five often notched lobes in a wide colour range. In recent years, taxonomists have paid much attention to this genus and on the basis of small botanical characters have hived off two large groups of species into the new genera Junellia and Glandularia. However, as there is not complete unanimity on this matter at the moment and some of the new name combinations have yet to be made official. Verbena in the broad sense has been retained here.
Few of the easily grown species small enough for the rock garden are fully hardy during frosty winters and those that are (most or all with the synonym Junellia) fail to flower. Obviously there is much scope for experimentation. Well drained soil and a sunny site are essential for all species, plus alpine house protection or scree conditions with shelter from too much rainfall for those species native to drier regions. Propagation by seed in spring or, if from the wild, as soon as obtained. Also by cuttings in late spring or late summer.