I was reminded today how much I love Lamb's ear (Stachys byzantina). I have it growing in my permaculture kitchen garden and food forest. Whenever I walk past it I have to stop and touch it's gorgeous leaves.
We all love Lamb’s Ear for these big soft fluffy leaves and because it's a tough landscaping ornamental, but there is so much more to this plant - a native to Turkey, Armenia and Iran (also known as woolly woundwort).
|Lamb's ear - it's so soft. Every time I walk past it I just have to stop and feel it. Image source: Morag Gamble|
Here is a brief overview of it's uses ....
- ornamental - fabulous border plant and robust ground cover with interesting contrasting silvery grey-green leaves, summer flowering.
- edible - young leaves in salad, steamed as a green, battered ('lambari' in Brazil), stir fried
- medicinal - Homegrown antibacterial bandage speeds up the healing of cuts. Squash leaves and put on bee stings and insect bites. Infusions of dried leaves are good for colds, gum and throat infections, and asthma. Also, leaves simmered and cooled can be used as an eyewash for sties.
- functional - leaves for compost and no-dig gardening, toilet paper, absorbent pads
- ecological - pollinator plant, attract bees
- sensory gardens - great in children’s gardens and healing gardens - people love to feel the thick felt-like leaves
- low-maintenance - Lamb’s Ear is an easy plant to care for and to propagate. It is hardy, drought-tolerant, frost-tolerant, grows well on sandy poor soil, likes sun and
- for urban gardens - hardy and grows well in containers
Do you use Lamb's Ear in other ways? It'd be great to hear from you.
|Flowering in Bairnsdale (Victoria, Australia) today. Image source: Morag Gamble|
Labels: bees, community gardens, food, foraging, gardening, no-dig garden, perennials, permaculture