There are somewhere in the region of 390,000 different species of plant known to man – more than most people can truly comprehend!
If you were to look up a different species of plant on the internet every single hour until you’d gone through all the ones that we know – and that’s every single hour, 24 hours a day, without sleeping – you’d get through them all somewhere around 44 years later.
Of course, look up a new one every minute, and you’ll get through them all much quicker. Somewhere in the region of nine months is all it would take – and remember, that’s 60 minutes an hour, for 24 hours a day, every day, for nine months…. Yeah, suffice to say there are a lot of plants!
Which is why we’re compiling a huge set of lists of some that you should definitely know about! This article covers plants that begin with the letter V – we’ve got 10 plants beginning with the letter V that we’re sure you’re eager to learn more about!
Beautiful and deadly, the venus flytrap (Dionaea muscipula) is a carnivorous plant that’s native to wetlands on the East Coast of the USA. As a carnivorous plant, it feeds on flies, insects, and other small animals.
They still use photosynthesis for energy, however – using the animal proteins they get from their prey to help them survive in areas with weaker soil, as these proteins are rich in nitrogen.
They have an instantly recognizable shape, looking rather like clamshells with sharp teeth. On the outside, the clamshell is green – on the inside, a deep reddish-pink color. The “teeth” aren’t teeth, of course, but are rather more like prison bars.
There are a series of hairs on the inside of the “mouth” of the plant – when a fly or insect triggers these hairs by walking across them, the clamshell closes shut, the “teeth” intertwine, and the poor little creature is trapped – destined to be digested by the plant over the next ten days or so.
Viola sororia, also known as the common blue violet, is a member of the violaceae family that is native to North America. Of course, given its name, it’s no surprise to learn that this plant has a beautiful coloration – it has unmistakable lovely purple petals.
It loves to grow, to say the least. To some, it’s a welcome friend in the garden, but to others, viola sororia can be seen as more of a weed. Indeed, left unchecked, this can be something of an invasive species – and it can be difficult to remove them all by hand and ensure that they aren’t coming back!
Valerian, a plant that’s native to Europe and some of Asia (but can also be found growing in parets of North America) is a perennial flowering plant.
It can grow up to 5 feet high in summer, with sweet smelling flowers bearing wite and pink hues. It has been used as a medicinal herb for centuries – being taken for insomnia since at least the era of the ancient Greeks.
It’s also known as a plant that cats like! Much in the same way as catnip, valerian is a plant that cats often seem to really enjoy being around.
Not every cat responds to valerian, just as not every cat responds to catnip – but cats that do, seem to love the plant! It’s harmless to them, but they respond well to the smell – it makes cats quite playful!
If you’re looking for a really unique plant for your garden, then a voodoo lily could be the one! They’re extremely striking, with brightly colored foliage, and a large colored protrusion from the plant that can grow to over 50 inches long!
They’re certainly fascinating plants to look at, and come in an extremely wide variety of colors. They flower for an extremely brief period of time too – their blossom only lasts for a day or two in total!
They’re not too hard to grow either – once you’ve got them established in the soil, they don’t need much watering, and shouldn’t ever really need fertilizer.
There’s one huge downside to this plant though – they have one of the most offensive scents known to man. You really, really do not want the smell of this plant anywhere near you – it’s like rotting meat! The plant uses this smell to attract flies, which help the voodoo lily with pollination.
SO, absolutely foul smelling, they attract flies, and they’re absolutely huge – up to 6 feet tall – so the smell is going to be everywhere, and they’re going to take up a lot of room in your garden. Well, if that’s your sort of thing, then go for it.
Verbena is actually not just one plant, but a genus of at least 150 similar and related plants in the family Verbenaceae. It’s a flowering plant, and it creates small flowers that clump together in dense spikes.
The flowers are typically a shade of blue, but they can have other colors too – white, purple and pink are not uncommon. Usually, if you’re growing verbena, it won’t be a pure species of verbena, but one of many cultivars – which is where some of these alternative colors come from.
They’re fast growing plants, and produce lovely looking flowers – although alone, they can look quite sparse. They’re great looking in combination with ornamental grasses, and they have a great added bonus for your garden – butterflies absolutely love them!
Plant a good amount of verbena and your garden is likely to be backed with butterflies.
Also called speedwells in some places, veronicas are tough, hardy plants that live for a long time, and create beautiful looking clusters of flowers with great, vibrant colors.
Their flowers are usually shades of blue, but there are also some beautiful whites, reds, and some fantastic looking pink veronicas too. They can be planted at almost any time of the year, but if you’re looking for the best time of year to establish them, consider planting around autumn or spring.
Once they’re settled in, you probably won;’t have to do much in the way of maintenance – simply a little bit of cutting back and removing dead growth every so often. They’re a beautiful looking plant, easy to grow, and come in many great colors!
Vinca is a genus of plants that are native to Europe, north Africa, and southwest Asia. They can actually be considered something of an invasive species. They’re extremely good at spreading due to the way they grow – they make trailing stems that can take root almost anywhere that they touch the ground.
This enables the plant to spread very widely. They’re often used as ground cover in certain gardens, but of course, they need to be kept in check if used for this purpose – or if grown at all, really! If you don’t keep them in check, they can completely choke out a lot of other plants in your garden – and the gardens around you!
However, they’re not all bad, as chemicals extracted from Vinca and related plant species are often used in medicine. Vincamine, found in the leaves of Vinca minor, is prescribed for primary degenerative and vascular dementia. Another species called Catharanthus roseus, which is related to Vinca, is used in chemotherapy.
Viburnum plants (there are approximately 175 different species) are shrubs (or in somc cases, small t4ees) that often produce beautiful clusters of flowers. These flowers are usually either white or pink, and can blossom in spring, summer, or winter. They usually have a strong and pleasant scent!
They come in both evergreen and deciduous types. Often, you’ll get ornamental berries too -they can be in a wide variety of attractive colors, but make sure not to eat them – these are often mildly poisonous!
Leave them for any birds that might want them instead. They don’t like growing in either very dry or very wet conditions, and they also need at least a bit of sun – so keep them out of deep shade. Full sun or light shade is great for them!
There are many different types of Verbascum, but they pretty much all have in common the fact that they produce spikes of colored flowers that insects seem to love.
These flowers can grow in a wide range of colors – there are many cultivars available, and colors such as white, yellow, orange, purple, and blue are all fairly common.
Bees and moths alike love these flowers – so if you’re looking for something great for pollinators, then verbascums are a good choice! One species, Verbascum thapsus, has been used in folk medicines for centuries too.
If you’re going to plant verbascum, choose somewhere with good sun and good drainage. They can handle a drier garden without too much problem!
Sow them into trays first, around April-May – they’ll germinate between 2 and 4 weeks later. You can plant them once their roots have reached the bottom of the tray or pot you’re growing them in.
Vaccinium is a genus of shrubs in the family Ericaceae – the heath family. You might not be familiar with the name Vaccinium, but you might well be familiar with one of the fruits that come from a species in the Vaccinium genus – blueberries! In fact, many of the fruits of various vaccinium species are edible.
There are plenty of them too – the highbush blueberry, mountain cranberry, western blueberry, California blueberry, and the red bilberry. This, of course, makes them a popular choice – after all, who doesn’t love fresh fruit, straight from the plant?
Some of these plants are absolutely delightful, charming little flowerers – and one is absolutely vile smelling, and the sort of thing that most people wouldn’t want in their neighborhood, let alone their garden! Hopefully, you’ve learned some interesting facts about plants beginning with the letter V!