NOTE: I am not sure how I made the mistake…since I was double checking in disbelief right from the beginning…but Lambs Ears are not native to Illinois – shame on me…my punishment…I will post another Illinois native next week!
I’m going to rock the boat a little here, but I am reporting from on a very reliable source…that is the USDA website. Common knowledge of Stachys byzantina (Lamb’s Ear) is that is it native to Turkey, Iran and neighboring countries in the middle East, but apparently the variety Stachys byzantina K. Koch is native to some US states as well – including Illinois.
1. stachys byzantina, 2. Stachys byzantina ~ Lamb’s ears (Turkey), 3. Stachys byzantina ‘Silver Carpet’, 4. Stachys byzantina lammöron_2505
It is a commonly grown plant for children’s gardens or used as an edging plant, the attraction being that they are easy to grow and the thick felt like leaves are fun to touch.
These large leaved varieties (‘Helen Von Stein’) give a beautiful lush look, especially early in the spring when the leaves are more green as the silver colored hair hasn’t yet matured.
Lunaria annua & Stachys byzantina (Honesty and Lamb’s ears) presents a beautiful color combination that surprisingly isn’t that common in height of the season – Silver and Chocolate Brown – but it is certainly worth striving for.
All cottage gardeners would agree, this classic combo of peony, digitalis, and lambs ears is a perfect in pink combination that never fails. And for gardeners needing a deer proof solution…this is it…all of these plants are avoided by munchy critters.