Lamb's Ear: Discovering the Best Varieties and Essential Care Tips
Lamb’s Ear, scientifically known as Stachys byzantina, is a perennial herbaceous plant widely appreciated for its unique foliage and ease of care. This ornamental plant adds a soft, textural element to gardens and landscapes.
Habit: Lamb’s Ear is known for its low-growing, spreading habit. It forms dense clumps or mats of foliage, typically growing more outward than upward. The plant is characterized by its soft, woolly leaves, which are large, oval, and covered in fine hairs, giving them a distinctive silver-gray hue and a velvety texture reminiscent of a lamb’s ears.
Hardiness: This plant is usually hardy in USDA zones 4-9. It thrives in a variety of climates, tolerating both cold winters and hot summers, making it a versatile choice for many gardeners.
Flowers and Bloom Time: Lamb’s Ear produces small, pink to purplish flowers on tall, spike-like stalks in late spring or early summer. While the flowers are attractive, they are often considered secondary to the striking foliage. Some gardeners choose to remove the flower stalks to maintain focus on the leaves.
Uses: Due to its distinctive look and texture, Lamb’s Ear is commonly used for ground cover, borders, and rock gardens. It’s also popular in children’s gardens for its tactile leaves. Additionally, its drought tolerance makes it suitable for xeriscaping and low-water garden designs.
Benefits: Aside from its ornamental value, Lamb’s Ear is low maintenance, requiring minimal watering and care. Its dense growth can help suppress weeds, and its soft leaves can be a fun, sensory experience in gardens, especially for children.