Beautiful glaucous, furry leaves. Purple orchid-like flowers. A wonderful habit and drought
tolerant. This plant is so versatile and so useful, be it in your own gardens or in other projects (e.g. sensory gardens).
Someone give me a reason not to grow it!
This plant is not, by any means, a rarity and it is often overlooked by gardeners but I urge you not to overlook this the next time you come across it. This plant has many common names with references to its amazing leaves: Lamb's ears, Cat's ears, Rabbit's ears . . . you get the picture! I know it as Stachys byzantina.
Where I live this plant appears evergreen, in fact its leaves die back in Spring but are replaced in the blink of an eye with new growth.
The plant flowers in mid summer and although the flowers are not huge they are absolutely gorgeous close up. Very much orchid-like. I do not have a close up picture of the flowers but left is a picture of the flower spikes.
Like I said earlier in the post, the habit of this plant is wonderful and it compliments the gravel garden particularly well. The contrast between its silvery leaves and the gravel itself is fantastic but the plant can be used in the front of borders and pretty much anywhere else you wish to plant it.
I was given a small offset of this plant, no longer small, by my friend and fellow blogger Pan (http://bimblingguru.blogspot.com). Since then I have divided it several times and placed it all around the garden. It is so easy to propagate this plant, as it pretty much does all the hard work for you. It is a self-layering plant so all you have to do is find a rooting section, cut it out and plant it.
The next time you come across this plant I urge you to purchase it, and I can assure you that you won't be disappointed!