Every garden should have some Alchemilla Mollis, or Lady’s Mantle as it is commonly known. A hardy, herbaceous perennial with soft green, fan-shaped foliage, it throws up large, lacy sprays of tiny lime-green flowers in early summer.
It is just a fabulous plant to have in your garden for these top ten reasons:
- as a low growing perennial, Alchemilla Mollis will grow to a clump about 30 to 45cm (12 to 18in) tall and looks great as a border edging or used to soften the edges of paths
- it will grow in a range of conditions, including heavy clay
- Alchemilla Mollis will grow in full sun or partial shade and, once established, is pretty drought tolerant
- the flower clusters of frothy, lime-green blooms are honey scented and attract pollinating insects to the nectar rich, flowers
- it will flower from June to September
- Alchemilla Mollis is fast growing so it provides great ground cover for bare spots or to keep down weeds
- the scalloped leaves look gorgeous when it rains as they catch droplets of water which then sparkle in the sunlight
- Alchemilla Mollis self seeds freely so you can end up with lots of plants for free to move around the garden or to giveaway. The self seeded plants pull up easily if you want to move or get rid of them
- it is a great stem for cutting to add to a vase of flowering blooms
- if you cut back the faded flower heads and foliage of Alchemilla Mollis in August or when it looks a little tired, you will often be rewarded with a second flush of flowers
Alchemilla Mollis is grown mainly as an ornamental garden plant and as it stays green, it makes a great foil for more colourful blooms with its fan-shaped leaves which last all season.
Alchemilla Mollis works beautifully paired with blue and purple shaded flowers. Hardy perennials like the cranesbill Geranium ‘Rozanne’ work well or using Alchemilla Mollis as clumping ground cover shows off tall alliums well.
And one final word on Alchemilla Mollis: it gets its name apparently from Arabic, meaning ‘little magical one’. It was reported in the Middle Ages that the water collected from its leaves after the morning dew had healing properties. What a lovely thought!