Lamb's Ear, Big Betony
Stachys byzantina, S. macrantha
LAMB'S EAR Stachys Stachys byzantina
Dense, ground-hugging, silver mats of wooly, tongue-shaped leaves. Color blends easily with other ground covers. Flower stalks rise to 1.5 feet high in late spring or early summer, hold whorls of purple flowers. Use plants to edge paths and borders. Widely adapted, lamb's ear tolerates cool weather and summer heat; it will not thrive in climates that are both hot and humid. Winter hardy to zone 4.
BIG BETONY Stachys Stachys macrantha syn. S. grandiflora
When mass planted this hardy, 2 foot tall perennial is spectacular. In bloom, big betony can easily be seen from 100 yards away. Bright purple-rose flowers appear in whirls of 10-20, on 18-24 inch stems in late spring. Bloom continues throughout the summer. Winter hardy to zone 3. Big betony grows nicely with Old Roses, shasta daisies Thriller lady's mantle, Milkmaid butterfly weed, and Sterntaler coreopsis.
How to Plant Stachys Seeds
Sow Stachys seeds in cell packs or 2 inch pots, press into soil but do not cover. Needs light to germinate. Kept at 70°F., germination usually occurs within 4-5 weeks. If not, put container inside a zip-lock bag and refrigerate for 4 weeks. Then return to 70°F. until germination occurs.