Lamb's Ears

Stachys byzantina

Woolly Woundwort, Woolly Hedgenettle, Lamsore (Afr.)

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Stachys byzantina is a species commonly known as lambs' ears. It is a well-known, ground-covering perennial, popular for its soft, white, fur-like, hairy foliage. The leaves are often retained quite late into autumn or winter in mild areas, but the plant is not properly evergreen, and the foliage falls eventually to be replaced by a fresh crop in spring. In warmer climates, they will stay evergreen. Flowers are pink-purple and may be striped, they are arranged densely in whorls on a flowering spike.

Planning

Difficulty

Easy

Flowering time

Summer

Fruiting time

Autumn

Harvesting

Generally not harvested

Propagation

Division

Divide thick clumps or remove rooted sections of the plants and replant.

Seed

Sow seed into trays in autumn or springtime. Transplant as soon as big enough to handle.

Special features

Drought resistant

Once established, plants are reasonably drought-tolerant, making this a good choice for a dry sunny border or gravel garden.

Attractive leaves

Soft grey leaves

Ground cover

Special features

Origin

Asia, Iran, Turkey and Armenia

Natural climate

Temperate

Environment

Light

Full Sun

Soil moisture

Dry

Soil type

Chalk, Loam, Sand

Soil PH preference

Neutral, Acid, Alkaline

Frost hardiness

Hardy

Uses

Edible

The leaves, deep fried in batter, are known as 'lambari' or fried fish in Brazil! Use them young in salads, steamed or stir-fried.

Medicinal

Leaves can be used on insect bites, including bee-stings. It is a natural anti-bacterial bandage for wounds. Dried leaves are great for colds, flu and asthma.

Functional

A soft natural toilet paper!

Personality

Family

Lamiaceae

Flower colour

Pink, Purple

Scent

None

Problems

Susceptible to powdery mildew and slugs. Prevent plants from becoming too overgrown as the mat of leaves makes a good hiding place for slugs.