Etymology
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verbena (n.)
genus of plants, the vervain, 1560s, from Latin verbena "leaves or twigs of olive, myrtle, laurel, or other sacred plants employed in religious ceremonies," from PIE *werbh- "to turn, bend" (source also of Lithuanian virbas "twig, branch, scion, rod"), from root *wer- (2) "to turn, bend."
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vervain (n.)
herbaceous plant much valued medicinally in Middle Ages, late 14c., from Old French verveine (13c.), from Latin verbena (see verbena).
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*wer- (2)

Proto-Indo-European root forming words meaning "to turn, bend."

It forms all or part of: adverse; anniversary; avert; awry; controversy; converge; converse (adj.) "exact opposite;" convert; diverge; divert; evert; extroversion; extrovert; gaiter; introrse; introvert; invert; inward; malversation; obverse; peevish; pervert; prose; raphe; reverberate; revert; rhabdomancy; rhapsody; rhombus; ribald; sinistrorse; stalwart; subvert; tergiversate; transverse; universe; verbena; verge (v.1) "tend, incline;" vermeil; vermicelli; vermicular; vermiform; vermin; versatile; verse (n.) "poetry;" version; verst; versus; vertebra; vertex; vertigo; vervain; vortex; -ward; warp; weird; worm; worry; worth (adj.) "significant, valuable, of value;" worth (v.) "to come to be;" wrangle; wrap; wrath; wreath; wrench; wrest; wrestle; wriggle; wring; wrinkle; wrist; writhe; wrong; wroth; wry.

It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit vartate "turns round, rolls;" Avestan varet- "to turn;" Hittite hurki- "wheel;" Greek rhatane "stirrer, ladle;" Latin vertere (frequentative versare) "to turn, turn back, be turned; convert, transform, translate; be changed," versus "turned toward or against;" Old Church Slavonic vrŭteti "to turn, roll," Russian vreteno "spindle, distaff;" Lithuanian verčiu, versti "to turn;" German werden, Old English weorðan "to become;" Old English -weard "toward," originally "turned toward," weorthan "to befall," wyrd "fate, destiny," literally "what befalls one;" Welsh gwerthyd "spindle, distaff;" Old Irish frith "against."

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columbine (n.)

popular name of a garden flower, c. 1300, from Old French columbine "columbine," or directly from Medieval Latin columbina, from Late Latin columbina "verbena," fem. of Latin columbinus, literally "dove-like," from columba "dove." The inverted flower supposedly resembles a cluster of five doves. Also a fem. proper name; in Italian comedy, the name of the mistress of Harlequin.

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reverberation (n.)

late 14c., reverberacioun, "reflection of light or heat, repercussion of air," from Old French reverberacion "great flash of light; intense quality" and directly from Medieval Latin reverberationem (nominative reverberatio), noun of action from past-participle stem of Latin reverberare "beat back, strike back, repel, cause to rebound." This is from from re- "back" (see re-) + verberare "to strike, to beat," from verber "whip, lash, rod," related to verbena "leaves and branches of laurel" (from *werb- "to turn, bend," from PIE root *wer- (2) "to turn, bend"). The sense of "an echo" is attested from 1620s.

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rhabdomancy (n.)

1640s, "dowsing, use of a divining rod" (especially to find things hidden in the earth, ores or underground water), with -mancy "divination by means of" (from Greek manteia "divination, oracle") + Greek rhabdos "rod, wand; magic wand; fishing rod; spear-shaft; a staff of office; a rod for chastisement; twig, stick." Greek rhabdos is from PIE *wer- (2), base of roots meaning "to turn, bend" (source also of Lithuanian virbas "twig, branch, scion, rod," Latin verbena "leaves and branches of laurel").

The Greek noun was used to represent Roman fasces. Related: Rhabdomantic; rhabdomancer.

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