Alchemilla mollis Open-pollinated. I first admired this attractive plant in the lovely gardens at Avena Botanicals. Softly hairy wavy-edged leaves unfold like fans in early spring. Leaves hold rain and dew, sparkling in the early morning light. Alchemists believed the collected dew was the purest water and used it in their preparations; thus its genus name. Bears large loose sprays of tiny greenish-yellow flowers from early summer onward. Makes a good border and ground cover in shady locations. Astringent and regenerative, has a long history as a remedy for women. Excellent for eco-dyeing: leaves make purple with a charcoal cast and flowers add some speckling. Likes average well-drained soil and moisture; tolerates most conditions. Seed is short-lived. Oscillating temperatures aid germination which requires 21–30 days. Likes average well-drained soil and moisture; tolerates most conditions. 12–18" perennial, hardy to Zone 3. ~2,600 seeds/g. ③
4584 Lady’s Mantle
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See Herb Chart in the sidebar for uses and cultural information.
About medicinal herbs: Archeological evidence dates the medicinal use of herbs back 60,000 years to the Neanderthals. 85% of the world’s population employ herbs as medicines, and 40% of pharmaceuticals in the U.S. contain plant-derived materials. Fewer than 10% of higher plant species have been investigated for their medicinal components. Interest in traditional herbal remedies continues to grow.
Statements about medicinal use of plants have not been evaluated by the FDA, and should not be used for the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any ailment. Before using or ingesting any medicinal plant, consult a healthcare practitioner familiar with botanical medicine.
Using herbs: Drying herbs at home is not difficult. Whole leaves retain their flavor at least a year. To substitute fresh herbs for dried in cooking, use triple the dried quantity called for in a recipe.
Culture: Some herbs are customarily grown from divisions because they cannot come true from seed, such as scented thymes and flavored mints. Some require fall sowing of fresh seed, such as sweet cicely and angelica, and these become available in August or September.
For the latest results of our germination tests, please see the germination page.