This is a leaf of Stachys byzantina.  Its common names, amongst others, include Lamb’s Ears, Woundwort and Woolly Betony.  Stachys was the name of the first bishop of Byzantium AD38- AD54 and his feast day is October 31.  This plant has been used throughout the world to cure an extensive list of ailments, in fact it seems to be a bit of a “heal all”.  It was important as a wound dressing from the middle ages until the civil war.  Added to these noble characteristics it feels nice, it takes a lot of self control not to reach out and stroke a leaf.   In fact I planted this one specifically so that visitors and gardeners alike could have a quick cuddle.  Its felty, feely leaves are sufficient to make it “garden worthy” but the spring spires of pink/purple flowers are an added bonus.  It is both drought and deer resistant (useful for us).  It originates in the area encompassing Turkey, Armenia and Iran, luckily plants do not acknowledge borders.


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