'Hummelo' is a relatively new cultivar of the alpine or common betony (Stachys densiflora, formerly S. monnieri, by which name it is still often sold) which is a native of southern Europe.

BetonyHummelo Betony forms a low-growing clump of softly green wavy or wrinkly leaves that spread quite slowly by stolons that root over the surface of the ground.

Over a considerable length of time it spreads into a pleasing groundcover. The leaves are nearly evergreen in gentle winters, but it looks rather worn out well before spring & may need trimming.

Although S. densiflora is related to Lamb's Ears (S. byzantina) which is grown primarily for the fuzzy foliage, Betony is not furry, & is excellent for both flowers & foliage. Like some other species within this genus, betony is sometimes called Woundwort from a belief that they can be used as healing bandages.

Out of the center of the low-growing leafy rosette there arises sturdy nearly leafless stems, straight & tall, twenty inches to two feet high, topped with purple flowers June through August & predominantly in July. The flowers are attractive to hummingbirds.

This perennial's needs are basic: moist well draining normal garden soil; prefers sun but will do well in partial shade; slightly drought tolerant once established. It needs protection in hot humid climates.

The common name Betony alludes to an ancient Iberian tribe. The cultivar name 'Hummelo' is in honor of a district in The Netherlands.


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