Lamb's Ear, Big Betony
Stachys byzantina, S. macrantha
LAMB'S EAR Stachys Stachys byzantina
Dense, ground-hugging sliver 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 to edge paths and borders. Widely adapted, tolerates cool weather and summer heat, does not thrive in hot and humid climates. 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 viewed from 100 yards away. Bright purple-rose flowers appear in whirls of 10-20, on 18-24 inch stems in late spring and continue throughout the summer. Winter hardy to zone 3. 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.