Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Lamb's Ears stachys byzantina

Of all the plants I grow in my gardens, Lamb's Ears are my nieces' favorite. They love to touch the incredible softness of the leaves while they exclaim over the silvery color.

In times past, the large leaves of this herb were used to bandage wounds. The plant is said to stop the flow of blood from nicks and cuts. Today it is grown as an ornamental and is wonderful for use in rock gardens and as a border plant. It can grow up to 18 inches high when its lavender blossoms shoot up from the base. It gleams in the moonlight of summer nights.

This is a hardy herb, but it can fall victim to the intense heat and humidity of the South. Hard rains can turn its leaves to mush. Lamb's Ears thrive best in sunny, dry weather conditions. The herb is also known as Woolly Betony and is sometimes called "woundwort".


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