T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Stachys byzantina (Lamb's-ears)

Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Lamiales
Family: Lamiaceae
Genus: Stachys
Species: S. byzantina
Binomial name: Stachys byzantina
Synonyms: Eriostomum lanatum, Stachys lanata, Stachys olympica, Stachys taurica
Common names: Lamb's-ears, Woolly hedgenettle, Fuzzy Wuzzy

Stachys byzantina is a species of perennial herb, native to Turkey, Armenia, and Iran. It is cultivated over much of the temperate world as an ornamental plant, and is naturalised in some locations as an escapee from gardens. There are a number of cultivars.

The leaves are thick and somewhat wrinkled, densely covered on both sides with gray-silver coloured, silky-lanate hairs; the under sides are more silver-white in colour than the top surfaces. The leaves are arranged oppositely on the stems and 5 to 10 cm long. The leaf petioles are semiamplexicaul (the bases wrapping half way around the stem) with the basal leaves having blades oblong-elliptic in shape, measuring 10 cm long and 2.5 cm wide (though variation exists in cultivated forms). The leaf margins are crenulate but covered with dense hairs, the leaf apexes attenuate, gradually narrowing to a rounded point. They are named lamb's ears because of the leaves curved shape and white, soft, fur-like hair coating.
Flowering occurs in late spring and early summer on tall stems with a few reduced leaves. The flowering spikes are 10–22 cm long producing verticillasters that each have many flowers and are crowded together over most of the length on the spike-like stem. The flowers are small and light purple.



Flower head


The lambs ear.