Stachys byzantina

Common Names: Lamb's-ear, woolly hedgenettle
Category: Plants
Sub-category: Mint family

Syn. Stachys lanata, Stachys olympica. Cultivated over much of the temperate parts of the world and naturalized in some locations as an escapee from gardens. Flowering stems are erect, often branched, and tend to be 4-angled, growing 40 to 80 cm tall. The leaves are thick and somewhat wrinkled, densely covered on both sides with gray-silver colored, silky-lanate hairs, the under sides more silver-white in color than the top surfaces. The leaves arranged oppositely on the stems and 5 to 10 cm long. Leaf petioles semiamplexicaul with the basal leafs having blades oblong-elliptic in shape, measuring 10 cm long and 2.5 cm wide, the leaf margins are crenulate but covered with dense hairs, the leaf apexes attenuate, gradually narrowing to a rounded point.

The flowering spikes are 10 to 22 cm long, producing verticillasters that each have many flowers and are crowded together over most of the length on the spike-like stem. The leaves produced on the flowering stems are greatly reduced in size and subsessile, the lower ones slightly longer than the interscholastic and the upper ones shorter than the verticillasters. Leaf bracteoles linear to linear-lanceolate in shape and 6 mm long. The flowers have no pedicels (sessile) and the calyx is tubular-campanulate in shape, being slightly curved and 1.2 cm long. The calyx is glabrous except for the inside surface of the teeth, having 10-veins with the accessory veins inconspicuous. The 2 to 3 mm long calyx teeth are ovate-triangular in shape and are subequal or the posterior teeth larger, with rigid apices. Corollas with some darker purple tinted veins inside, 1.2 cm long with silky-lanate hairs but bases glabrous. The corolla tubes are about 6 mm long with the upper lip ovate in shape with entire margins; the lower lips are subpatent with the middle lobe broadly ovate in shape, lateral lobes oblong. The stamen filaments are densely villous from the base to the middle.

In Connecticut, mostly found in or near gardens and landscaping.

Primary Flower Color: Pink
Secondary Flower Color: White
Edible Notes: In Brazil it is used as a edible herb, called Lambari.
Warnings: Not known to be dangerous.