Saturday, May 1, 2010

Stachys

Easy to grow in full sun on any typical well drained soil, they are also deer resistant. Most hate extreme heat and humidity. Do not wet the foliage unless absolutely necessary. If the foliage does get diseased and unsightly, cut the plant back to 1 inch in height, and watch it rapidly regrow.

Stachys bullata ( Hedge Nettle )
A fast spreading, deciduous perennial, reaching up to 4 x 3 + feet, that is native to the coastal mountain range in California from San Francisco to Los Angeles.
The attractive, oppositely-arranged, ovate leaves, up to 7 x 3 inches in size, are deep green. The foliage mound is up to 1 foot in height.
The bright purple flowers, up to 0.5 inches wide, are borne late spring to late summer.
Hardy zones 7 to 10 in full sun to partial shade on just about any well drained soil. It is great for dry shade under Oaks but requires 26 + inches of average yearly rainfall. Deer resistant.

Stachys byzantina ( Lambs Ears )
Also called Stachys lanata. A very fast growing, long-lived, low clump forming perennial, reaching up to 1.5 x 3 feet, that is native to western Asia. Great for groundcover and the front of the border. It may be evergreen in the milder parts of its range.
The woolly, ovate leaves, up to 10 inches in length, are silver.
The light purple flowers are borne on woolly stems, up to 3.5 feet in height, during mid-summer.
Hardy zones 3 to 7 in full sun to partial shade on humus-rich, very well drained soil. Generally not hardy south of zone 7 due to fungal disease. Moderately drought tolerant. Many gardeners cut off the flower spikes to maintain a neater groundcover habit. Cut back tired looking or diseased foliage during mid to late summer to encourage new foliage to appear as cooler autumn weather approaches.
Cultivars can only be reproduced from division during spring.

* photo taken on April 17 2010 in Laurel, MD

* photo taken on July 31 2011 in Hyde Park, NY

* photo of unknown internet source

* photo taken on Nov 16 2015 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on Jun 2 2016 in Columbia, MD


'Big Ears'
Also called 'Helen von Stein'. Very fast growing, forming a clump up to 1.5 x 5+ feet, spreading up to 3 feet in just 2 years.
The huge silvery leaves, up to 12 inches in length, make it an excellent groundcover.
On average, the leaves are twice the size of that of regular Stachys byzanthus.
This cultivar rarely flowers.
More heat tolerant than species.

* photos taken on June 12 2013 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on Oct 21 2014 @ Smithsonian Inst., Washington, DC


'Olympica'
Silvery-white foliage and pinkish flowers.

'Primrose Heron'
Forming a tight clump, up to 1.5 x 3 feet, with woolly, creamy-yellow leaves that later turn to bright green.

'Silver Carpet'
A low growing, non flowering form, forming a rapid spreading clump, up to 8 inches x 4 feet. The velvety foliage is silvery-white.

* photos taken on July 31 2011 in Hyde Park, NY


* photo taken on June 23 2013 @ U.S. National Arboretum, DC

* photo taken on Jul 30 2013 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on Jul 25 2015 @ Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON


Stachys coccinea ( Scarlet Hedge Nettle )
A mounding perennial, reaching up to 3.5 x 5 ( rarely over 2 ) feet, is native from central Arizona to western Texas; south into Mexico. It is evergreen in mild climates.
The triangular leaves, up to 3 inches in length, are crinkly, lightly downy and mid-green.
The aromatic foliage is covered in soft white hairs.
The intense reddish-pink, tubular flowers, up to 2 inches long, are borne mid spring to late fall.
The hairy stems are square.
Hardy zones 7 to 9 in full sun on moist, humus-rich, well drained soil. A hardier clone sold by High Country Gardens may survive north to zone 5 if mulched during winter. Tolerant of clay as well as very heat and drought tolerant once established. Deer and rabbit resistant. Deadhead old blooms to encourage repeat blooming.

'Hidalgo'
Reaches up to 2.5 x 6 feet, with flowers that are orange-salmon deepening to red.

Stachys grandiflora ( Spike Betony )
Also called Stachys marantha. A rapid spreading, dense, mat-forming perennial, up to 2 x 3+ feet, that is native to the Caucasus.
The basal clump is composed tight rosettes of hairy, corrugated, ovate, deep green leaves, up to 4 inches in length.
The masses of showy rosy-violet flowers, up to 1.3 inches across, are borne on spikes, up to 10 inches in length, during late spring into early summer.
Hardy zones 3 to 8 in full sun to partial shade on moist, well drained soil. Divide every few years. It is less prone to fungal disease than Stachys byzantha.

'Alba'
Pre white flowers

'Robusta'
"Spike Betony on Steroids", growing with more vigor, reaching up to 40 inches x 2 feet. Flowers are pinkish-purple.

'Rosea'
Pink, lavender and white flowers.

'Superba'
Taller growing, to 27 inches, with lavender-pink flowers during mid summer.

Stachys lavendulifolius ( Pink Cotton Lamb's Ear )
An attractive, low perennial, reaching up to 10 x 15 inches, that is native to the high mountains of Turkey.
The foliage is gray-green.
The bright pink flowers are borne on fuzzy spikes. The flowers attract butterflies.
Hardy zones 5 to 9 in full sun on very well drained soil. Drought tolerant and intensely dislikes excessive wetness. Deer and rabbit resistant.
Deadhead after flowering.

Stachys minima ( Dwarf Betony )
A tight, compact perennial, reaching up to 8 inches x 1 foot. It looks great when used along pathways.
The foliage is deep green.
The bright violet flowers are borne on clusters up to 6 inches in length, during mid to late summer.
Hardy zones 3 to 8 in full sun on well drained soil.

Stachys monnieri
A stoloniferous, spreading perennial, reaching up to 2 feet x 20 inches, that is native to mountains in southern Europe.
The basal foliage is glossy deep green.
The pink or white flowers are borne on stems up to 2 feet high, during summer.
Hardy zones 3 to 8 in full sun to partial shade.

* photos taken on June 12 2013 in Columbia, MD


Stachys officinalis ( Wood Betony )
A fast growing but not invasive perennial, reaching up to 4 x 3 feet, with a dense basal clump of foliage, that is native from the British Isles well into Russia.
The basal leaves are up to 14 x 4 inches, stem leaves are shorter, no more than 5 inches. The wrinkled, scallop-edged, oblong foliage is hairy deep green.
The purplish-red flowers, up to 0.5 inches long, are borne on erect stems, during mid to late summer.
Hardy zones 4 to 8 ( 3 on protected sites ) in full sun to partial shade on moist, humus-rich, well drained soil. Tolerant of hot, dry conditions. Propagation of cultivars is from division during autumn or early spring.

* historic archive photo


'Alba'
White flowers

'Pink Cotton Candy'
Vigorous but compact, reaching up to 2 x 2 feet, with attractive luxuriant deep green foliage.
The very abundant, intense bright pink flowers are borne over a 2 month period from early to mid summer.

* photo taken on June 24 2013 in Columbia, MD


'Rosea Superba'
Rosy-pink flowers.

Stachys spicata
A compact perennial, reaching up to 20 x 20 inches, that is native to the Caucasus.
The foliage is puckered. The pink flowers are borne on spikes, up to 3 inches tall, during summer.

'Densiflora'
Dense flower spikes.

Stachys tenuifolia ( Hedge Nettle )
A rhizomatous perennial, reaching up to 4 feet in height, that is native to wet woods and bottomlands in eastern North America ( from Manitoba to New Brunswick; south to eastern Texas to northern Georgia to South Carolina ).
The sharply-toothed, narrow-ovate leaves, up to 6 x 2.3 inches in size, are glossy mid to deep green.
The pale pink flowers are borne on upright, narrow, terminal spikes during early to late summer.
Hardy zones 3 to 8 in partial shade on moist to wet, fertile, well drained soil. It is tolerant of temporary flooding.

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