Lamb’s ear

Stachys byzantina


Lamb’s ear has a good name; it is a low growing perennial with distinctive fuzzy foliage character like lamb ears. Plants reach 6-12 in. tall and can spread 2-3 ft. and more with surface runners. Gray leaves grow to 4 in. long and are soft, thick and covered with silvery hairs that have a woolly texture. Attractive flower stalks develop in late spring to early summer and contain numerous whorls of small purple flowers.

Lamb’s ear is native to Turkey, Armenia and Iran, and is adaptable to both heat and cold. It has been grown for many years in California as a perennial in warm climate zones and is easily established in Inland Empire gardens. It requires well-drained soils and grows best with regular moisture and in sunny locations. Wet leaves are subject to rot in humid climate zones and shady areas. Lamb’s ear is commonly planted along borders, around paving stones and in perennial gardens where it provides unique foliage character and color contrast with other plants.

Plant Type: Ground cover, Perennial
Foliage Character: Evergreen
Habit: Upright, Spreading
Growth Rate: Moderate
Foliage Color: Gray green
Flower Color: Purple
Flower Season: Summer, Spring
Soil Adaptations: Well-draining soil
Exposure Adaptations: Heat, Cold hardy, Aridity, All day sun
Function: Residential spaces, Raised planters, Hummingbird plant, Grouped, Foliage accent plant, Flowering accent plant, Container plant, Commercial spaces, Borders, Attracts butterflies
Height: 6 in. – 12 in.
Width: 2 ft. – 3 ft.