A large family, widely distributed; herbs and shrubs; leaves opposite, or in whorls; flowers perfect, in clusters; calyx with four or five lobes or teeth; corolla with four or five united lobes, almost regular or two-lipped; stamens on the corolla, usually four, in two sets; ovary superior, with one style and one or two stigmas, when ripe separating into from two to four, one-seeded nutlets.

There are many kinds of Verbena, chiefly American; perennials; calyx tubular, with five teeth; corolla usually salver-form, with five lobes, usually slightly two-lipped; stigmas with two lobes, only the larger lobe fertile; fruit four nutlets. This is the Latin name of some sacred plant.