Lamb's ears is well loved for its densely hairy leaves. Keeping those fuzzy leaves dry is important for the health and beauty of this plant.
This plant has some cultivated varieties. Go to list of cultivars.
All common names:
Tree or Plant Type:
- Ground cover,
- Mixed border,
- Medium plant (12-24 inches)
- Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)
- Zone 4,
- Zone 5 (Chicago),
- Zone 6,
- Zone 7,
- Zone 8
- Moist, well-drained soil
- Occasional drought
Seasons of Interest:
- mid spring,
- late spring,
- early summer,
- late summer,
- early fall,
- mid fall
Flower Color & Fragrance:
Shape or Form:
Size and Method of spreading
Lamb's ears is a low-growing to mounded ground cover, gorwing 12 to 15 inches high. It takes on a more upright appearance as the flower stalks develop. It is a colonizing ground cover. Colonizing ground covers produce underground stems that spread out horizontally and shallowly, produce roots and then send up new shoots. These plants are strong growers and may have the potential to grow aggressively.
It is important for this plant to have well drained soil. Overhead watering can be a problem as well, since the hairy leaves can trap water and this leads to rot.
Disease, pests, and problems
Rot and leaf diseases can be a problem when conditions are too wet.
Slugs can also be a problem.
Disease, pest, and problem resistance
Resistant to deer and tolerant of black walnut toxicity.
Native geographic location and habitat
Native to Turkey and Iran.
Leaves are mostly growing from the base of the plant and are oblong to elliptic. They are densely hairy, giving the plant a gray-green to whitish appearance and a soft, felt-like feel.
Small, purple-pink flowers are borne on upright stalks up to 6 inches tall. Flowering time is from summer into frost, but the flowers are not very showy.
Fruit are small nutlets; not ornamentally important.
Cultivars and their differences
Big Ears lamb's ears (Stachys byzantina 'Big Ears'): Large, silvery-green leaves in dense rosettes. Few to no flowers produced. Also sold under the name 'Helene von Stein'.
Fuzzy Wuzzy lamb's ears (Stachys byzantina 'Fuzzy Wuzzy'): Silvery-white leaves produced in dense clusters, making for a full ground cover.
Silky Fleece lamb's ears (Stachys byzantina 'Silky Fleece'): A dwarf variety with smaller leaves. Grows to 3 to 4 inches high in leaf; up to ten inches when in flower.
Silver Carpet lamb's ears (Stachys byzantina 'Silver Carpet'): Seldom produces flowers.