Growing in dry, grassy places, waste ground and chalky soil, Vervain is an upright, erect, plant which reaches 70 cm. A perennial, it bears pretty, pale, violet-coloured flowers (4 – 5 mm across) in narrow leafless spikes from June to October. Each two-lipped flower has five lobes, two above the mouth and three below. The violet colour is slightly darker towards the edges of the lobes and gradually pales towards the centre of each flower where there are four stamens. The rough, hairy, lanceolate leaves are pinnate and opposite, in pairs. The stems are stiff and square. This introduced species is not found too often in the northern half of Ireland, being mainly confined to the more southerly half. It belongs to the Verbenaceae family.
I found this plant growing in Inistioge, County Kilkenny in 2011 when I also photographed it.
If you are satisfied you have correctly identified this plant, please submit your sighting to the National Biodiversity Data Centre