Betony (Betonica officinalis / Stachys officinalis) is a small wildflower which is a member of the Dead Nettle Family, and was previously known as Stachys officinalis, but was recently renamed Betonica officinalis. It is a perennial reddish or purple flower. Straight with upright and attractive leaves.
It is a slow growing plant that is long lived with attractive spikes of bright pink / mauve flowers which are a good nectar source for bees and butterflies.
The leaves are dark green and crinkly, and they keep their deep green colour throughout the summer months. This plant is very tolerant of cutting and can thrive in spring and autumn during mowing and trimming. Although it does prefer to gorw on damp sites, it cannot tolerate waterlogged ground. It is a small to medium height plant that is slightly hairy, with a square stem, and the flower has a hooded upper lip which contains 4 stamens and 3 lobed lower lip.
The flowers are in bloom between June and October, where it produces a bright red / pruper or in rare occasions the flowers can also be white. To begin with the plant forms a rosette on the ground and is often found in short turf. If found on uncut and ungrazed grassy areas, it often looses out to the taller more agressive growing plants. The seeds are spread by dropping late in the season and by slow steady vegetative spread.
Height: 30 – 60cm
Flowering Time: June onwards
Preferred Conditions: Will tolerate damp conditions but not waterlogged sites. Will often be found on infertile soil on lightly grazed pastures.