Stachys officinalis
Common Name: bishop's wort
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Lamiaceae
Native Range: Europe, Asia
Zone: 4 to 8
Height: 1.50 to 2.00 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 1.50 feet
Bloom Time: May to June
Bloom Description: Reddish-purple
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Naturalize
Flower: Showy
Tolerate: Deer, Black Walnut

Culture

Easily grown in average, medium, well-drained soils in full sun. Appreciates some light afternoon shade in hot, humid climates. Soils should be kept evenly moist, but established plants have some drought tolerance. Spreads by creeping stems (stolons) that root as they go along the ground. Plant 12-18” apart for use as a ground cover.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Stachys officinalis is native to Europe and Asia. It is a glabrous to densely-hairy perennial that is noted for its late spring floral display. Wrinkled, scallop-edged, ovate to oblong, petiolate, dark green leaves (to 5” long) form a basal clump to 9-12” tall. Upright flowering stems rise to 12” above the foliage clump in late spring to early summer, each stem topped by a spike of reddish-purple (less frequently pink or white), two-lipped, tubular flowers. Clumps will spread over time to form a dense ground cover. Although some species of Stachys are grown primarily for their gray woolly leaves (e.g., Stachys byzantina or lamb’s ears), this species is grown primarily for its vivid flowers which can provide a spectacular display, particularly when massed. Moreover, when plants are in flower, they somewhat more closely resemble some of the salvias than the fuzzy-leaved lamb’s ears. Synonymous with Stachys betonica and Betonica officinalis.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems.

Garden Uses

Borders, cottage gardens, informal naturalized areas. Interesting edging plant.