White-lavender flowers in May atop wiry stems look like fantastical birds with too many wings, or a four-cornered bishop’s hat. Ornamental heart-shaped leaves and red stems.
Size: 6-12” x 18” slow spreader Care: shade to part shade in well-drained to moist well-drained soil. Once roots established, valuable in dry shade Native: China, Japan & Korea
Its Chinese name is “Yin Yang Ho” meaning “Licentious goat herb, “ because allegedly an aphrodisiac for goats! In China & Japan thought to remedy impotence, liver ailments & all age related maladies. In Western gardens since 1834.
Stachys minima syn. Stachys spathulata Dwarf betony Z 5-9
Emerging from a rosette of charming crinkly leaves, spikes of pink-purple trumpets bloom generously from June – July.
Size: 36” x 12” Care: Sun, well-drained soil Native: Southern Europe
Both the Latin and common names are related to flax. Linaria comes from “linum” which is Greek for “flax” and toadflax includes the word “flax.” The leaves of Linaria purpurea resemble flax leaves. According to 17th century English herbalist, John Parkinson, the plant “causes one to make water.” Grown by Tradescant the Elder, 1634. American garden cultivation since 1800’s.
Penstemon hirsutus Downy penstemon Z. 3-9
Lavender-Pink outside and white inside funnels in June