Justin W. Hancock

Quick Shot from the Test Garden

Stachys 'Pink Cotton Candy'

One of the great things about perennials is that there’s such a wide variety — it seems like there’s always something new to discover!

Take this plant: It’s common name is betony (Stachys ‘Pink Cotton Candy’ for those of you who love plant names in Latin). It’s closest common garden relative is lamb’s ears. Like lamb’s ears, it has great foliage — though it’s dark green and quilted instead of soft and silvery. Betony’s blooms are prettier, too — a delightful shade of soft pink.

The ‘Pink Cotton Candy’ variety blooms from June to August and grows 2 feet tall and wide. It loves full sun, tolerates poor soil and droughty conditions, and deer and rabbits pass it by. I’ve not tried it as a cut flower, but it seems like it would make a good one.

I’m thinking it would make for a great groundcover, too — the foliage stays relatively low so if you cut the dead flower stalks off you’d have an undulating carpet of those dark green textured leaves.

If you’re in the area, come by the BHG Test Garden on Fridays to see it in bloom for yourself!