Ooops! Not the four-legged lamb’s ear…rather, the botanical variety!
Lamb’s Ear(s), or Stachys byzantina, is a herbaceous perennial favorite of gardeners and ‘sheep lovers’ alike. Lamb’s Ear is grown more for the texture and color of its foliage than for its bloom, even though lamb’s ear does produce light purple flowers on tall spikes.
Its texture can best be described as “velvety”. Lending further interest to the foliage is its silvery color. The flower spikes reach 12″-18” in height, but the rest of the plant stays much closer to the ground.
Stachys byzantina can be grown in Zones 4-7. It prefers full sun in northerly climes, though, in desert areas, it can profit from partial shade. This perennial flower thrives in poor soil that is well-drained.
Lamb’s Ear plants are widely used in borders and cottage gardens. They spread readily from seed, making them effective groundcovers, if you don’t mind them taking over. The pic is of Lamb’s Ear ‘volunteers’ found in the grass (we really don’t have LAWN – lol)…making it easy to share with friends! HINT: It’s fuzzy texture makes it a popular plant for children’s gardens too.
As drought-tolerant plants, they are good candidates for rock gardens. Their silvery color is fun to play with when experimenting with color, moon gardens, etc. in your landscape design. Another plus, Lamb’s Ear is also deer-resistant.
Historically, folklore used it as a wash cloth and to staunch wounds. Cut foliage and blossoms from Lamb’s Ear make stunning arrangements alone or mixed with other dried flowers…I like to use them in tussie mussies/nosegays. Hang dry to preserve for later use.