Stachys officinalis

Betonica officinalis

Betony

A table displaying which months are best to sow, plant and harvest.
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Flowers
Flowers

Plant does not flower in January

Plant does not flower in February

Plant does not flower in March

Plant does not flower in April

Plant does not flower in May

Plant does flower in June

Plant does flower in July

Plant does flower in August

Plant does not flower in September

Plant does not flower in October

Plant does not flower in November

Plant does not flower in December

  • Botanical name: Betonica officinalis
  • Common name: Betony
  • Family: Lamiaceae
  • Plant Type: Perennial
Flower colour:

Purple

Red

Foliage colour:

Green

Betonica officinalis (recently changed from Stachys officinalis) is a British native perennial wildflower, with delightful purple-red blooms and fresh green, toothed foliage. It’s typically found in grasslands and hedgerows, but does well in gardens. It’s most commonly known as betony, but it’s other common names include: common hedgenettle, purple betony, wood betony, bishopwort, or bishop’s wort. Like other members of the dead nettle (Lamiaceae) family, betony can be identified by its square stems and lipped flowers, which are a magnet for bees and other pollinators.

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Traditionally, betony was thought to have significant healing properties, and was used to aid digestion and circulation, as well as help to calm the central nervous system and alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety. All parts of the betony plant are edible and can be used fresh or dried to make a slightly spicy, aromatic tea, which is said to warm and soothe the body – in short, a cup of wood betony tea will make you feel better, and was once used as a catch-all herbal medicine regardless of the symptoms. Betony is also thought to aid concentration, and was even planted in churchyards to ward against ghosts.

Today, betony makes an excellent bee-friendly wildflower for a native wildflower border or meadow area. Its flowers are particularly favoured by the solitary wool carder bee (Anthidium manicatum), which sometimes nests in bee hotels.

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How to grow betony

Betony is a vigorous grower, thriving in neutral to acidic soils, and is ideal for using as a wildflower plant. In garden planting schemes, betony works well alongside ox-eye daisy and ornamental grasses, and does as well in sun as in shade. For best results grow Betonica officinalis in moist but well-drained l in full sun to full shade. Sow seed in late summer where it is to flower, or raise from plugs. Cut back in autumn. It will self-seed readily.

How to grow Betonica Officinalis

  • Plant size

    60cm height

    20cm spread

  • Aspect

    North facing, south facing, east facing, west facing

  • Position in border

    Front, middle

  • Sun exposure: Dappled shade, full shade, full sun, partial shade
  • Hardiness: Hardy
  • Soil type: Acidic / clay / heavy / moist / well drained / light / sandy

Plant calendar

A table displaying which months are best to sow, plant and harvest.
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Sow
Sow

Do not Sow in January

Do not Sow in February

Do not Sow in March

Do not Sow in April

Do not Sow in May

Do not Sow in June

Do not Sow in July

Do Sow in August

Do not Sow in September

Do not Sow in October

Do not Sow in November

Do not Sow in December

Plant
Plant

Do not Plant in January

Do not Plant in February

Do not Plant in March

Do not Plant in April

Do Plant in May

Do Plant in June

Do not Plant in July

Do not Plant in August

Do not Plant in September

Do not Plant in October

Do not Plant in November

Do not Plant in December

Flowers
Flowers

Plant does not flower in January

Plant does not flower in February

Plant does not flower in March

Plant does not flower in April

Plant does not flower in May

Plant does flower in June

Plant does flower in July

Plant does flower in August

Plant does not flower in September

Plant does not flower in October

Plant does not flower in November

Plant does not flower in December

Prune
Prune

Do not Prune in January

Do not Prune in February

Do not Prune in March

Do not Prune in April

Do not Prune in May

Do not Prune in June

Do not Prune in July

Do not Prune in August

Do Prune in September

Do Prune in October

Do not Prune in November

Do not Prune in December

Collect seeds
Collect seeds

Do not Collect seeds in January

Do not Collect seeds in February

Do not Collect seeds in March

Do not Collect seeds in April

Do not Collect seeds in May

Do not Collect seeds in June

Do not Collect seeds in July

Do Collect seeds in August

Do Collect seeds in September

Do not Collect seeds in October

Do not Collect seeds in November

Do not Collect seeds in December

Betonica Officinalis and wildlife

Betonica officinalis is known for attracting bees, beneficial insects, butterflies​/​moths and other pollinators. It has nectar/pollen rich flowers.

Attractive to Bees

Attractive to Beneficial insects

Does not attract Birds

Attractive to Butterflies​/​Moths

Attractive to Other pollinators

Is Betonica Officinalis poisonous?

Betonica officinalis has no toxic effects reported.

No reported toxicity to:

No reported toxicity to Birds

No reported toxicity to Cats

No reported toxicity to Dogs

No reported toxicity to Horses

No reported toxicity to Livestock

No reported toxicity to People