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Betony, Wood Betony, Lousewort, Bishopswort

Stachys officinalis

Family: Lamiaceae (lay-mee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Stachys (STAK-iss) (Info)
Species: officinalis (oh-fiss-ih-NAH-liss) (Info)
Synonym:Stachys betonica
Synonym:Betonica officinalis



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)


18-24 in. (45-60 cm)


USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)

USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:



Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall


Grown for foliage



Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:

By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)

From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse

From seed; sow indoors before last frost

From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Kiowa, Colorado

Brandon, Florida

Aurora, Illinois

Evansville, Indiana

Kent City, Michigan

Albertville, Minnesota

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Sag Harbor, New York

Dunn, North Carolina

Coshocton, Ohio

Sherwood, Oregon

Nashville, Tennessee

Essex Junction, Vermont

Olympia, Washington

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Aug 19, 2012, Lascap from Nord,
France wrote:

Discovery of this plant is a gift of life. More than 40 healing properties, used like a 'Panacea' in middle age.

If you like tea, you can add 1 teaspoon of Betony crushed dry leaves + 1 teaspoon of your favorite indian tea.
Like this, you can avoid health problems with ease.
It have a calming effect for me.

I never try with coffee, but why not?

Taste of Betony dry leaves is slightly bitter, with a strange flavor of dry soup powder! but it's ok... very drinkable ;-)

Seeds can be collected also before the seed pods become brown, i just collected brown ready seeds starting to fall today, the plant still green, this 19 August. I will do the same when the 'branches' become brown, later...Sorry my english (i speak french)


On Jan 22, 2006, stressbaby from Fulton, MO wrote:

Great plant, underused. Cut the whole plant back after flowering and shortly thereafter fresh foliage will emerge and persist, nearly evergreen, through the winter. Occasionally lost to crown rot but divides easily and self seeds very gently. Lavender, white, and an in-between shade of very light pink have emerged in my garden.


On May 4, 2002, Lilith from Durham,
United Kingdom (Zone 8a) wrote:

Almost leafless stems of Betony arise from a basal tuft of long-stalked leaves, and each bears a fairly compact, cylindrical head of reddish-purple flowers at the tip. To Betony was attributed many properties, both medicinal and magical, and it was used in herbal teas and herbal tabacco.