Botanical Name: Stachys byzantina
Common Name: Lambs' Ear  
Plant photo of: Stachys byzantina
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Water Saving Tip:

Group plants in your garden according to their water needs (hydrozone).

  • Anatomy

  • Culture

  • Design

Plant Type

Ground cover, Perennial


Height Range

Under 1'


Flower Color

Lavender, Pink


Flower Season



Leaf Color

Grey Green, Silver


Bark Color



Fruit Color



Fruit Season








Growth Rate



Soil Type

Sandy, Clay, Loam


Soil Condition

Average, Poor, Well-drained, Dry


Soil pH

Neutral, Basic


Adverse Factors


Design Styles

English Cottage, Meadow, Mediterranean, Ranch, Spanish


Accenting Features

Unusual Foliage


Seasonal Interest

Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall


Location Uses

Entry, Perennial Border, Shrub Border, Foundation, Parking Strip, Patio, Raised Planter, Walkways


Special Uses

Cut Flowers, Mass Planting, Small Spaces


Attracts Wildlife


Information by: Stephanie Duer
Photographer: Linda Engstrom/Chandler
  • Description

  • Notes

Lambs' ear is a most fabulous perennial and groundcover, grown primarily for its soft, velvety leaves. It grows about a foot or so tall and spreads 2 to 3 feet. Leaves are grey-green and hairy, with the hairs giving the leaves a silvery cast. Though not really evergreen, the leaves turn a lovely buff come fall and persist well into the winter months, until buried under snow. Erect flowering stems arise May and June, with pink to lavender flowers at the terminal end. Some remove the flower stems before they bloom, but they are simple and charming. Use as a edging plant for a perennial, shrub, or foundation border, or as a ground cover. There are some named cultivars; 'Helene Von Stein' and 'Big Wave' claim to be flowerless, though in my experience they all eventually come to flower. Leaves are wonderful on wreaths (but you'll need a glue gun). There are lambs ear planted at the Washington Square Demonstration Garden.
Grow in average, dry to medium, well-drained soil in full sun. Drought tolerant. Will tolerate some light afternoon shade, too much shade, however, may impede leaf drying and promote the onset of disease and general mushiness. Avoid overhead watering. Pick off damaged leaves in the early spring, before new growth emerges. Divide in spring or fall. Spreads by creeping stems that root as they go along the ground and can be aggressive in rich soils or in sites that are over-watered. 'Helene von Stein' can be seen at the Washington Square Garden, and the blooms are lovely...