Friday, June 16, 2006


Lambs Ears - The Plant and The Real Deal

For years, I've grown these hardy garden herbs called Lamb's Ears (botanical name Stachys lanata). I got my first plants from my mom in NJ for a garden I was starting in eastern Massachusetts. I'm still growing them in my garden today. I couldn't think of a better name for a plant - the leaves are soft and hairy. The leaves range from a dusty grey to a soft green. In June, spiky, other-worldly looking flowers emerge. It wasn't until I had sheep that she and I realized, they really do look like their name.


I love to garden but I must admit, with Julia, it has become far more difficult to squeeze in the time. Now I prefer growing unfussy perennials that will come back and perform beautifully year after year. Lamb's Ears fill the bill. Every few years, I dig them up and spread them around to new places and everywhere they prosper. Last year, I ripped them up to weed them and replanted them. Evidently, some shoots hit the lawn because now there are some nice patches growing in all kinds of odd places. It's also nice that the sheep and the deer don't like to eat them. When they bloom, I pick them by the basketfull and they last for several days in the house. They're blooming now and here's my latest bouquet.

5 comments:

Brigid said...

I grow them too. There's a nice variation on the name (in the UK, anyway) - Lambs Lugs - 'lugs' being an old-fashioned word for ears.

Marsha said...

Kirstin, your lambs ear flowers in the white vase are beautiful. I've grown patches of lambs ears for years. I love the color and texture in the garden. But here in Texas, the flowers don't seem to be as pretty! The other problem I have is that the under side of the plants get all brown and mushy. But all in all, I love them.

B. said...

I read on your link about Lady's Mantle (I love to grow it too) that animals like the taste but won't eat it until the moisture is off the leaves. I never had thought before that furry leaves might have evolved as a protection from grazers.

maryse said...

when i was in college, taking botany, one plant i remember learning about was stachys lanata. is it too late in the season to plant? or should i wait until next year?

also, i'm a fan. i recently purchased your embroidery book. i haven't made anything from it, but i do love your use of color.

Anonymous said...

when my lambs ears bloomed bees came to them in droves, i cut them back and put some in another pot to see what would happen,