Written by Don Richardson 
Blue Porterweed (Stachytarpheta Jamaicensis)
Plant Type
Perennial Wildflower
1-3’ tall, 2-3’ wide
Sun Exposure
Full sun to minimal shade
Soil Type
Slightly Acidic - Neutral
Soil pH
6.1 – 7.5
Bloom Time
Most of the year
Hardiness Zones
8-11 (USDA)
Is a Florida Native
Pollinates as a grouping
Edible Plant
Yes - Cooked
Medicinal Plant

Any reference to medicinal or culinary use of plants or plant parts should in no way be considered an endorsement by The Ocala Food Forest or its staff. Research is crucial in safe and proper consumption or experimentational use of any plant. 

Blue Porterweed is a native plant of Florida that grows in moist, sandy soils and is often found near rivers and streams. It’s also known as the “Butterfly Weed” because it attracts many species of butterflies and hummingbirds. This small but mighty plant has a variety of uses and benefits for the environment, making it an ideal addition to any garden or landscape. Let’s take a closer look at this beautiful Florida native.

The Basics of Blue Porterweed
Blue Porterweed is an herbaceous perennial that grows up to three feet tall with narrow, pointed leaves that are light green in color. The flowers appear from summer through fall and can be either white or purple-blue depending on the variety. It’s easy to recognize these plants by their distinctive scent which smells like mint mixed with honey.

Benefits for Your Garden and Landscape
Blue Porterweed is an excellent choice for gardens and landscapes due to its beauty, versatility, and environmental benefits. It requires little maintenance other than occasional pruning or deadheading (removing spent flowers). The plant will attract pollinators such as butterflies, bees, birds, and other beneficial insects which helps to promote biodiversity in your garden or landscape. Additionally, the plant will help reduce soil erosion due to its deep root system which holds onto soil in areas where rainwater runoff could cause damage.        
Uses Beyond the Garden
Blue Porterweed has many uses beyond being used as a decorative flower bed or landscaping element. It can be used as an herbal remedy for treating digestive problems such as nausea or upset stomachs due to its antispasmodic properties; however, consult a doctor before using this plant medicinally as some people may have allergic reactions when taking it orally. Additionally, the leaves can be boiled down into a tea which makes a refreshing drink with a hint of minty sweetness; however, if you have allergies please check with your doctor before consuming this tea as it contains pollen that triggers allergies in some people.                   
Blue Porterweed is an excellent choice for any garden or landscape due to its beauty and environmental benefits. Not only does it provide visual appeal but also helps support local wildlife by providing them with food sources such as nectar from its flowers. Additionally, its deep root system helps reduce soil erosion in areas prone to heavy rains; plus it can be used medicinally for treating digestive problems and even brewed into tea! Whether you live in Florida or not, consider adding Blue Porterweed to your garden—you won’t regret it!


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