plains of the Sacramento and San Joaquin valleys. It blooms in late summer, yielding an amber-colored honey.
YANILLA-PLANT (Trilisa odoratissima). — Deer’s tongue. A perennial herb, 2 to 3 feet tall, belonging to the Compositae. The lower leaves are spatulate or tongue-shaped, the upper, oval and sessile; the whitish or purple flowers are in terminal clusters. In southwestern Florida this plant has been reported to cover scores of acres and to yield nectar plentifully.
VARNISH TREE. — See Tree of Heaven.
VERVENIA. — See Phacelia.
VERBENA. — See Vervain.
VERVAIN, PURPLE (Verbena hastata). — Purple vervain and hoary vervain (V. stricta) occasionally yield a surplus at Center Point, Iowa, and vicinity. They grow best on low moist pasture land, and in an average season, while in some fields quite thick, they are for the most part very scattering. Two or three seasons of excessive moisture and rather cool weather are required to render the plants sufficiently abundant to yield a surplus, and such conditions have occurred only twice in the past 24 years. Then nearly every pasture was blue with them, and they remained in bloom for four or five weeks. The low rich pasture lands looked like a great blue sea. The flowers began to open in July and the blooming period lasted through August, until the colonies had filled the sections in two or three supers. The honey is water-white, or fully as white as clover honey, and were it not for a greater or less admixture of heartsease honey, which is always abundant at this season of the year, it would be a mild-flavored honey. The comb has a bluish tinge due to a little of the blue pollen being mixed with the cappings, giving it a pretty appearance, but which would prevent its passing for clover honey. It is not quite so thick as clover honey, and does not granulate as quickly; in fact, comb honey from this source did not candy at all.
The purple vervain grows in damp fields and pastures from Nova Scotia to Oregon, and southward to Florida and Texas. It is absent from the southwestern states, although found in California on the lower islands of the Sacramento River. It is a perennial herb, growing from 3 to 6 feet tall. The stems are square, and the leaves oblong, lance-shaped, and roughish. The purple flowers are small, sessile, and in long erect spikes, as shown in the photograph. The corolla-tube is a little shorter than the tongue of the honeybee, so that it can easily gather the nectar. (Fig. 117.)
In New England it is so rare as to be of no value as a honey plant. At Oak Ridge, Passaic County, New Jersey, honeybees are reported as working on the flowers, and it is listed among the honey plants of this state, but it is of little value. It also finds a place in the honey flora of Nebraska. Besides honeybees, bumblebees, solitary bees, wasps, flies, and butterflies frequently visit the bloom.
In Texas blue vervain (V. xutha), which grows in sandy soils from Louisiana to southern California, is the source of a small amount of honey. It blooms from April to August.
In the dry open hilly country of western California the spreading vervain ( V. prostrata) is not uncommon. It is reported to he a good bee plant. The European vervain (V. officinalis), according to M. P. Fabreques’ Bee Flora of Spain, produces a bitter astringent honey. This certainly seems improbable.
VELVET BEAN (Mucuna utilis). — In 1909 only 12,560 acres were reported; but in 1918 there were 4,600,000 acres under cultivation. It is grown chiefly in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Mississippi, and Alabama, where the bees gather nectar from it. The vines are too coarse and densely matted to he used for a hay crop, but ground together the bean and pod produce a palatable and nutritious feed. If the bean is thrashed out a more concentrated feed is obtained. The nectar is very thin when brought into the hive, but it thickens as the honey ripens. The comb honey is white, and the extracted honey has been reported as