Stachys macrantha

22 Jul

Stachys macrantha (23/06/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

Stachys macrantha (23/06/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

Position: Full sun to partial shade

Flowering period: Summer

Soil: Moist, well drained

Eventual Height: 60cm

Eventual Spread: 45cm

Hardiness: 4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a

Family: Lamiaceae

Stachys macrantha Flower (23/06/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

Stachys macrantha Flower (23/06/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

Stachys macrantha is a deciduous herbaceous perennial with a clump forming habit. Its mid green leaves are cordate with sinuate margins, up to 8cm long and 5cm broad. Its purple flowers are funnel shaped and appear as dense spikes above the leaves, these are up to 10cm long.

Stachys macrantha, commonly known as Betony or Big Betony, is native to the Caucasus region. In its native habitat it grows in alpine meadows.

The etymological root of the binomial name Stachys is derived from the Greek staxus  meaning ‘an ear of grain’, referring to the spike of flowers. Macrantha is derived from the Greek makros meaning ‘large’ anthos meaning ‘ flower’.

Stachys macrantha Leaf (15/08/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

Stachys macrantha Leaf (15/08/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

The landscape architect may find Stachys macrantha useful as an effective deciduous ground cover. It may be used as part of a mixed herbaceous or prairie type planting scheme.

Ecologically, Stachys macrantha flowers are attractive to pollinating insects.

The Royal Horticultural Society has given the varieties ‘Robusta’ (1993), ‘Superba’ (2012), ‘Violacea’ (2012) of Stachys macrantha their prestigious Award of Garden Merit.

Stachys macrantha Fruit (15/08/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

Stachys macrantha Fruit (15/08/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

Stachys macrantha prefers moist, fertile, well-drained soils. It tolerates most pH of soil.

Stachys macrantha requires little maintenance. Large clumps may be divided in spring.

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