Stachys maxima
Common Name: betony
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Lamiaceae
Zone: 4 to 8
Height: 0.75 to 1.50 feet
Spread: 0.75 to 1.50 feet
Bloom Time: June to September
Bloom Description: Rose-purple
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Flower: Showy
Tolerate: Deer, Black Walnut

Culture

Easily grown in average, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun. Tolerates some light shade. Too much shade may impede leaf drying and promote the onset of diseases. Avoid overhead watering. Tolerates some drought.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Stachys maxima is a compact perennial that typically forms an attractive ground cover of scalloped green leaves in slightly spreading basal clumps. Two-lipped, tubular, rose-purple flowers (each to 1/2” long) bloom in terminal spikes atop leafy flowering stems rising above the foliage to 12” tall over a June-August bloom period. Although some species of Stachys are grown primarily for their gray woolly leaves (e.g., Stachys byzantina), this species is grown primarily for its flowers which can provide an interesting summer display, particularly when massed. This species is reportedly similar to S. 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 largest.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems. Plants tend to develop leaf spots, powdery mildew and rots in hot and humid summer climates. Watch for slugs.

Garden Uses

Good small area ground cover. Borders, cottage gardens, open woodland areas and informal naturalized areas. Interesting edging plant.