Stachys byzantina Lamb's ears
The Stachys byzantina (pronounced STAY-keys Biz-ann-TEE-nuh) is commonly called Lamb’s ears, Wooly Lamb’s Ear, Woolly hedgenettle, or Silver Carpet Lamb’s ear. In fact, it is known for having the softest leaves in the world. Although not a succulent, they are one of cutest fuzzy plants around.
Lamb’s ear plants are perennial herbs. Featuring thick and somewhat wrinkled foliage. Curved leaves are densely covered on both sides with a fur-like hair coating. Additionally, the undersides are more silver-white in color than the top surfaces. The leaves are arranged opposite each other on stems which are about 2-4 inches (5-10 cm) long.
Stachys byzantina Overview
|Lamb’s Ear, Wooly Lamb’s Ear, Silver Carpet Lamb’s ear, Woolly hedgenettle
|Partial Sun, Sun
|6 to 24 inches (15-60 cm)
|1 to 3 feet (30-90 cm)
|Pink, Red, Purple, White
|Stachys lanata, Stachys olympica
|Flowers, Attracts Birds & Bees, Low Maintenance
|Seed & Division
|Deer Resistant, Drought Tolerant, Groundcover
Stachys byzantina Lamb's ears
The genus name, Stachys, is Greek and comes from a word meaning “ear of corn” or “an ear of grain”. This is in reference to the spike-like inflorescence. Byzantine, the epithet, means “of classical Byzantine”.
Fun fact: Used in Brazil as an edible herb, called lambari.
Stachys byzantina Care
Lamb’s ear is easy to grow and requires very little maintenance. In fact, they are very hardy plants. Good companion plants are dianthus, and day lilies.
Stachys byzantina Light
Lamb’s ears prefers full sun, but can tolerate shade as well. Although, leaves will be appear greener in shade as it does not produce as many dense hairs. Avoid overwatering as wet leaves invite disease, as do high humidity summers.
Lamb’s ear grows well in average, dry to medium, very well-drained soils. Also, if you have compacted or clay-type soil, use amendments like compost or sand to improve drainage.
Lamb's ear Pruning
Stachys byzantina will begin to die back at the end of the growing season in late fall. Cut away dying stems to the soil level. If you don’t do this in the fall, you can cut away the dead foliage in the spring before new growth emerges.
‘Helene Von Stein’ Big Ears Lamb’s Ear
Be sure not to let the potting mix stay wet or soggy for extended periods. Specifically because they are susceptible to root rot.
Lamb's ear Fertilizer
Lamb’s ear does not like rich, fertile soil, and it is generally best to avoid feeding it with supplemental fertilizers.
Stachys byzantina Flowers
Although Lamb’s ear are not popular for their flowers, they are beloved for its fuzzy leaves. However, Stachys byzantina does produce light purple flowers on tall spike-like stems. Keep an eye out for these flowers in spring, summer and fall.
Stachys byzantina Lamb's ears Propagation
Cyanotis somaliensis propagation can be anytime. In colder climates it is best to do so at the beginning of the growing season. Propagation is possible via stem cuttings or by plant division.
Lambs ear varieties
- Lambs’ Ears (Stachys byzantina)
- Lamb’s Ear (Stachys byzantina ‘Big Ears’)
- Texas Betony (Stachys coccinea)
- Lamb’s Ears (Stachys byzantina ‘Silver Carpet’)
- Florida Betony (Stachys floridana)
- Red Flowered Lamb’s Ear (Stachys coccinea ‘Mountain Red’)
Lambs ear medicinal uses
- Homegrown antibacterial bandage that speeds up the healing of cuts. In fact, used for centuries as a wound dressing on battlefields.
- Squash leaves and put on bee stings and insect bites.
- Infusions of dried leaves are good for colds, gum and throat infections, and asthma.
- Leaves simmered and cooled can be used as an eyewash for pink eye and sties.
- An astringent, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory from tannins and flavonoid.
- Helps reduce/stop diarrhea and reduce fever.
- Helps relieve sore throat/mouth.
- Helps stop/prevent internal bleeding.
- Helps reduce liver/heart weaknesses.
Is Lamb's ear invasive?
Indeed, Lamb’s ear is considered invasive in North America. Specifically as they are self-seeding and have creeping stems that root once they hit soil. Therefore, be sure to prune them back so they do not grow out of control.
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