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Thursday, July 15, 2010

Stachys: Texas Betony (Stachys coccinea)

This past spring, I purchased Betony (Stacyhys)from the semi-annual plant sale at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin. I purchased two plants to add to my herbaceous plant collection in hopes of handcrafting these plants into salves and creams. I have them growing in pots while they get adjusted to my micro-climate. I plan on transferring them permanently into the main garden next Spring. As you can see, this is the time of year they produce beautiful scarlet flowers. The scarlet blooms are very attractive to hummingbirds, so it's a wonderful addition to a garden. It seems most people use Betony as a landscape plant; however, this plant offers much more than just visual stimulation.

One can harvest the aerial parts of Betony and dry them to make tea infusions or tinctures. It is said, Betony can calm the central nervous system as well as strengthen it. People find it helpful to assist with nervousness, anxiety, and tension - as well as diarrhea and irritations of the mucous membranes. (I'm thinking this would be a good tea for a person who gets diarrhea when overly stressed and anxious).

I haven't harvested the leaves of this plant just yet....right now I'm simply admiring it's leaves and blooms. The leaves feel very soft and rather thick. There are soft hairs on the leaves. The leaves are a vibrant green and the thickness in the leaves is notable.

I took this picture to demonstrate how just about anyone who loves herbs can find joy growing them in pots. These are first year pots and as the plants mature they will be re-potted in larger pots or find permanent homes in the garden.


Woodwife said...


I stumbled on this post looking for medicinal information on Texas betony.

I find wood betony to be helpful for headaches and was surprised to see a betony native to Texas.

I see that the post is a year old and I was wondering if you'd made use of the plant yet?

Hill Country Herbalist said...

Hi, since then I've planted into the main herb and food garden. It's a lovely plant attracting hummingbirds and butterflies daily thought the sping and summer. I've not used it other than a pollinator.