Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The Life Stages of Lamb's Ears

Macro Lamb's Ears Leaves, © B. Radisavljevic
I have always loved the look of Lamb's Ears (STACHYS byzantina) with their wooly leaves. I love touching their softness. I love the way their gray color adds contrast to the green of my other garden plants.

 I started growing Lamb's Ears in my Templeton herb garden at least ten years ago in a pot. It escaped, and then I brought a baby plant to

Paso Robles and put it in
 Lamb's Ears in Herb Garden, right, © B. Radisavljevic
my front flower bed. It kept spreading, and now it's in every one of my front Paso Robles flower beds. It seems to thrive in this climate and seems to need very little water. I just let it grow because it smothers any weeds that try to grow  through it.

The photo to the right shows that first potted Lamb's Ears plant in Templeton. To its left is a blooming bull thistle plant. You can  also see a Lily of the Nile (blue) to the right and behind the bull thistle. The orange and yellow flowers are a combination of calendula and California golden poppies. The photo was taken near the end of June. You can click this photo or any other to enlarge it.

 Lamb's Ears in Paso Robles Garden, right, © B. Radisavljevic

One of the first babies from this plant I put in Paso Robles is in this photo. This was taken in April before the plant started budding. That was back in 2013. Now the plant has spread to fill in all the empty space to the side and behind.

 Lamb's Ears Budding, End of April, © B. Radisavljevic

This shot was taken at the end of April, when the plant is just beginning to bud.

 Lamb's Ears Blooming, Beginning of May, © B. Radisavljevic

Here the plants are flowering at the beginning of May. All the flowers do not open at once. The flowers are tiny and delicate, but they attract bees. By June the flowers fill out a bit more.

 Lamb's Ears end of August, © B. RadisavljevicThis last photo was taken tonight, August 25. By this time the flowers have dried out and gone to seed. The spikes are now leaning toward the ground. I will soon have to cut them back. If anyone who lives near me would like some of the plants when I thin them, just let me know. I'd love to share.
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