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.
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.
Genus name comes from the Greek stacys meaning ear of corn in probable reference to the inflorescence of a related plant.
Specific epithet means sold in shops, which was applied to plants with real or supposed medicinal properties.
‘Hummelo’ features basal rosettes of ovate, glossy, dark green leaves and tiny, two-lipped, rose-lavender flowers which appear in dense spikes atop mostly leafless flowering stems rising well above the foliage mat to 1.5-2’ tall in summer. Clumps will spread over time to form a dense ground cover. Leaves are evergreen in warm winter climates, but will depreciate considerably in harsh winters. 'Hummelo’ is sometimes sold in commerce as a cultivar of Stachys monieri.
No serious insect or disease problems. Snails and slugs are occasional visitors.
Borders, cottage gardens, informal naturalized areas. Interesting edging plant.