About the name Verbena

The name “Verbena” was chosen for the boat because it has all the letters of our children’s Vera and Ben’s names and this trip is really for them.

Plus it is a really cool flower.

Verbena in Legend and Folklore…

Verbena, also knowns as vervain, has been considered a magical and sacred herb in many different cultures throughout the centuries.

The name “verbena” means altar plant. In Ancient Rome this herb was sacred. It was used on the altar in the temples. Vervain twigs were bundled and used to sweep the altar.

Verbena was a considered a sacred and very powerful herb both by the Druids and the Romans.  

Some spoke of verbena being magical; by rubbing verbena on the skin your wishes were to be granted if you recited a secret spell.

Verbena in the home was thought to protect against lightning.

During the Middle Ages verbena was carried for good luck. Superstitious belief flourished that “vervain hanged around the neck will bring marvelous and unhoped help”. Some believed the superstition that verbena buried in the garden would bring prosperity.

Even though verbena had the power to ward off witches, the opposite was also said. Witches were believed to use verbena in their evil brews and spells.


Protection against lightning is a good enough reason to name a boat after it!

There is also a lot of symbolism associated with the verbena flower.  The language of flowers has long been used as a subtle or secret way to convey meaning.  Some people use verbena to make a request for prayers or well wishes.  Verbena flowers are also symbolically used to represent healing, creativity, and happiness.  They are even used for protection against harm and evil.

We discovered another meaning on our trip. In the Spanish Canary islands several locals made comments about our boat being a dance party.

Kids, a flower and a dance party – trifecta!

In Spanish-speaking cultures, a verbena is an agricultural show, modest amusement park, or dance party, especially one held at night. An old tradition, they usually take place after dark in summer. Nowadays, some major cities, such as Barcelona, host “permanent” verbenas (revetlla in Catalan), but these have less tradition character than those that appear for only a few days each year.

Finally, we discovered the name does have nautical cred as well. Go the mighty V!

Verbena’ (H2), a gaff rig 8 Metre, sailing close-hauled, 1911

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