Ground covers, Perennials
These mint-family members have the typical square stems and leaves in opposite pairs; foliage ranges from rough textured to furry. Except for Stachys macrantha, the species described here have short-stalked or stalkless leaves. Spike-like clusters of small, usually two-lipped flowers bloom in late spring and summer; blossoms are attractive to bees.
Native to Caucasus, Iran. To 1 1/2 ft. high, spreading freely by surface runners. Dense, ground-hugging rosettes of soft, thick, rather tongue-shaped,woolly white leaves to 4–6 in. long. Blossom stalks 1– 1/2 ft. high bear small purplish flowers; many gardeners feel that these detract from the foliage and so cut off or pull out flowering stems. Continued rains can mash plants down and make them mushy, and frost can damage foliage, but recovery is strong.
From the Mediterranean and western Asia. To 2–3 ft. high and wide, with downy, heart-shaped, too...
From the Pyrenees. Forms wide, 8–12-in.-tall mats composed of 1–1 1/2-in., soft gray green...
This popular variety has white blooms with a pale pink blush.