Stachys lavandulifolia
Common Name: lamb's ears
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Lamiaceae
Native Range: Armenia
Zone: 5 to 8
Height: 0.50 to 1.00 feet
Spread: 0.50 to 1.50 feet
Bloom Time: May to June
Bloom Description: Lavender to pink
Sun: Full sun
Water: Dry to medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Ground Cover, Naturalize
Flower: Showy
Tolerate: Drought, Dry Soil, Shallow-Rocky Soil

Culture

Winter hardy to USDA Zones 5-8 where it is easily grown in dry to medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun. Tolerates some light shade. Performs well in gritty, rocky soils. May spread in the garden by self-seeding. Set new plants 12-18” apart for use as a ground cover. Deadhead spent flower spikes to improve plant appearance and maintain plant vitality.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Stachys lavandulifolia, commonly called wood betony or pink cotton lamb’s ear, is a tufted, stoloniferous, woody-based perennial or sub-shrub that typically grows to 8-10” tall and spreads to 15” wide. This is an alpine plant that is native to dry rocky slopes in Iraq, Iran and the southern Caucasus Mountains. Leaves are gray-green. Basal leaves (to 2 1/2” long) are oblong lanceolate to oblanceolate, usually with silky hairs and, entire margins. Stem leaves are shorter and less narrow. Lavender to pink flowers (each to 3/4” long) bloom late spring to early summer (May-June) in 2-6 flowered verticillasters on short hairy spikes clad with dense cottony filaments.

Genus name comes from the Greek stacys meaning ear of corn in probable reference to the inflorescence of a related plant.

Specific epithet means with leaves like lavender, Lavandula.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems. Tends to develop leaf spots, powdery mildew, and rots in hot and humid summer conditions. Watch for slugs and snails.

Garden Uses

Foliage provides interesting texture and shape, but the flowers are a show-stopper. Xeric wildflower gardens. Excellent rock garden plant. Border fronts. Effective edger or small area ground cover. Containers.