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August 2017
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Betony worthy of spot in sunny garden

Bet on this — Well-behaved betony ‘Hummelo’ blooms for several weeks in mid- to late summer. © Photo Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp

Bet on this — Well-behaved betony ‘Hummelo’ blooms for several weeks in mid- to late summer. © Photo Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp

A couple of weeks ago, a colleague asked me to help identify a perennial in her garden. It had square stems, low-growing leaves and several 12-inch stalks topped with dense, pink-lavender flowers.

It looked a lot like a sage (Salvia) and I scoured resources to confirm, but couldn’t find anything like it. Quite by accident, I came across the right plant, Stachys monieri ‘Hummelo,’ also called betony. You may also find it listed as S. officinalis and S. densiflora.

Stachys also is the scientific name for lamb’s ear, S. byzantina. Lamb’s ear is a silvery gray fuzzy leafed perennial that spreads rapidly. ‘Hummelo’ has crinkled, fresh-green leaves and grows in a clump.

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