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An erect perennial plant, with somewhat oblong flower heads about 3 cm across. Flowers are held proudly on almost leafless square stems emerging from rosettes. The leaves are narrow, toothed and mostly at the base of the plant. Betony flowers from early to late Summer. Plants are long-lived and slow growing and spread by seed dropped late in the season.
Betony is a wonderful herb for the herb garden. It is a lovely flowering specimen offering blooms that range from white to deep-purple and grows well in partial shade. The flowers are attractive and long-lasting. Their unusual shape makes them an eye-catching addition to a rock garden. Betony grows from 9 inches to 3 feet tall, depending on the variety of plant (be sure to read the tags!). This is a lovely and well-behaved perennial which minds its own business and doesn’t make a nuisance of itself by spreading around uncontrollably. Plants produce a neat tuft of attractive leaves, each of which is edged with blunt teeth. From June until the first frosts, sturdy stems carry compact spikes of vibrant, rosy-purple flowers which are almost orchid-like in their appearance. These are a magnate for bees and other pollinators and are a valuable source of nectar and pollen late in the season. Plants are long-lived and flower reliably each year, spreading slowly to form large clumps. Other forms are available, including ‘alba’ (white), ‘rosea’ (pink) and ‘hummelo’ (bright purple flowers in large spikes). Note that the latin name for Betony has changed recently – it’s better known as Stachys officinalis and is likely to be sold under this name.
In the wild, Betony is a plant of meadows, grassy heaths, hedge banks and open woodlands. It has a preference for damp, acidic soils, but will grow on neutral and mildly basic soil too. It’s found throughout England and Wales, but is less frequent in parts of eastern England and is peculiarly rare in Scotland and Ireland. Sadly, it’s a flower that has suffered from the catastrophic loss of meadows and the decline in woodland coppicing. The appropriate dose of betony depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for betony. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using. (Source: www.webmd.com)