Lamb’s ear – Stachys byzantine

Lamb's Ear flowers
Lamb’s Ear flowers

This native of Turkey, Armenia and Iran is one of the few plants that can survive in the shade of a walnut tree. From May through July this short lived perennial puts up flower spikes that are adorned with small velvety purple-pink flowers that put out a fragrance that is reminiscent of bubble gum!

 

During the Middle Ages Woundwort provided bandaging for wound in the battlefield. Even as late as the Civil War it was used in the field to bandage soldier’s wounds. It is a use to remember for emergency first aid when you are out hiking or during a disaster. There is also some speculation that the center of the plant stays warmer during the winter, and therefore you could put your fingers into the center of the plant to avoid frostbite.

 

This plant is an entertaining plant in a child’s garden. Touching the velvety softness is fun! It makes a great edging plant and due to its silvery leaves is oft used in Moon gardens as it will reflect the Moon’s light brightly.

 

This plant of Jupiter was burned at Midsummer (Litha) for purification, protection and psychic awareness. Just burn it on the bonfire, and jump through the smoke to obtain the purification against illness and evil. It was also carried to prevent lover’s quarrels, to prevent intoxification and to prevent ‘elf disease.’

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One response to this post.

  1. Thank you! We’ve been wanting to plant this in our community children’s garden on the Lower East Side. Great inspiration and stories to pass onto the kids when we do.

    Reply

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