Common name: Culver's Root, black root
Veronicastrum virginicum is a tall perennial plant native to eastern North America. It has long, slender flowers in mid-summer. V. virginicum flowers are either white, pinkish ('Roseum' in the Perennial and Alma VanDusen Gardens) or purple ('Fascination' - in the Heritage Rose Garden). It has a long history as an herbal medicine.
We also have an Asian genus, V. sibiricum, which has light purple flowers and is sometimes found in the border in front of the Formal Rose Garden.
Close-up photo by Tresa Horney