Stachys named perennial plant of the year

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Stachys officinalis "Hummelo," pictured here in the New York Botanical Garden, is the 2019 Perennial Plant of the Year. It's an easy-to-grow perennial for moist, well-drained soils in full sun to light shade. (Submitted by Kristine Paulus/Flickr)

URBANA, Ill. — The Perennial Plant Association has selected Stachys “Hummelo” as the 2019 Perennial Plant of the Year.

Sometimes called betony, it offers a basal clump of glossy, dark green leaves and rose-lavender dense spikes atop mostly leafless flowering stems.

The flowers are arranged in verticillasters (false whorls).

Bloom time is July to September. It grows 18-24 inches tall and wide.

Hummelo is easy-to-grow in moist, well-drained soils in full sun to light shade.

It is relatively pest-free, and deer leave it alone. Also, it can be grown near walnut trees since it is not affected by walnut wilt.

It is a relative of mint and eventually, the clumps will spread by stolons or runners, but not as aggressively as some mints.

Stachy’s ‘Hummelo’ received the highest rating out of 22 Stachys varieties evaluated at the Chicago Botanic Garden between 1998 and 2004. It received this rating based on strong flower production, plant health, overall good growth habit, and winter hardiness.

Good companion plants include coneflower (Echinacea), Leucanthemum ‘Becky’, sea holly (Eryngium), Russian sage (Peroviskia), catmint (Nepeta), hardy geranium (Geranium), and stonecrop (Sedum).

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