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Alchemilla mollis

Common Name(s):

Previously known as:

  • Alchemilla acutiloba var. mollis
  • Alchemilla montana
  • Potentilla alchemollis
Phonetic Spelling
al-kem-ILL-ah MAW-lis
Description

Lady's Mantle is an herbaceous perennial that originated in the Eastern Carpathians and the Caucasus. It is a member of the Rose family. The genus name, Alchemilla, may be a Latinized form of an Arabic word. The species name, mollis, means soft which is an accurate description of the leaves of this plant. They are soft and downy, up to 6 inches wide, circular in shape with 9 – 11 shallow lobes. The color is a soft pale green. They form a dense mound up to 12 inches high and wide. In June the plant carries bunches (compound cymes) of starry, chartreuse flowers reaching as high as 18 inches.

The flowers do set seed and self-seeding can be a problem if it is growing in optimum conditions. Trimming the dead flowers will tidy the plant, encourage new growth, and reduce the seeding problem. The plant will spread into a dense cover and the simplest way of propagating it is through division in the spring or autumn.

Lady's Mantle does well in all types of soil as long as there is moisture and has no real preference for acidic or alkaline soils. It can grow in full sun, part shade, and shade making it perfect for underplanting shrubs and trees. In drier areas, the leaves may scorch in full sun. Aside from an occasional haircut, it requires very little care.

Lady's Mantle is perfect for a massed ground cover. It can be grown for cutting and drying and is the archetypical cottage garden plant.

One of the most endearing traits is the way the leaves hold water in near perfect droplets after a rainstorm.

Lady's Mantle tolerates rabbits and deer.

May be confused with: Alchemilla monticola

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Auslese'
    Large with lime green flowers
  • 'Irish Silk'
    2 feet tall, very florific
  • 'Robusta'
    Upright with large leaves
  • 'Thriller'
    Compact with flowers more green than yellow
'Auslese', 'Irish Silk', 'Robusta', 'Thriller'
Tags:
#perennials#yellow flowers#shade garden#velvety#spring flowers#perennial flowers#summer flowers#spring interest#partial shade tolerant#heavy shade tolerant
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Auslese'
    Large with lime green flowers
  • 'Irish Silk'
    2 feet tall, very florific
  • 'Robusta'
    Upright with large leaves
  • 'Thriller'
    Compact with flowers more green than yellow
'Auslese', 'Irish Silk', 'Robusta', 'Thriller'
Tags:
#perennials#yellow flowers#shade garden#velvety#spring flowers#perennial flowers#summer flowers#spring interest#partial shade tolerant#heavy shade tolerant
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Alchemilla
    Species:
    mollis
    Family:
    Rosaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Eastern Carpathians, Caucasus
    Distribution:
    Widely throughout the world
    Wildlife Value:
    Attracts butterflies
    Dimensions:
    Height: 1 ft. 0 in. - 1 ft. 6 in.
    Width: 1 ft. 0 in. - 1 ft. 6 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Herbaceous Perennial
    Perennial
    Habit/Form:
    Dense
    Mounding
    Spreading
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Medium
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Dappled Sunlight (Shade through upper canopy all day)
    Deep shade (Less than 2 hours to no direct sunlight)
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    High Organic Matter
    Loam (Silt)
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Available Space To Plant:
    12 inches-3 feet
    NC Region:
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    3b, 3a, 4a, 4b, 5b, 5a, 6b, 6a, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Insignificant
    Fruit Type:
    Achene
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Cyme
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Good Cut
    Good Dried
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Star
    Flower Petals:
    7 - 20 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    The individual flowers are shaped like tiny stars. But when the plant is in full bloom, it is like looking at sea foam. The pale chartreuse froth blends with the soft green beneath to give a beautiful display.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Soft
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Rosulate
    Leaf Shape:
    Orbicular
    Leaf Margin:
    Dentate
    Lobed
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    The pale green, palmately veined, soft, downy leaves of Lady's Mantle form a spreading mound that is the perfect accent to many dark leaved shrubs. They are also complement roses well. But they are especially beautiful when covered with small droplets of rain after a summer shower.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Patio
    Slope/Bank
    Walkways
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Cottage Garden
    Cutting Garden
    English Garden
    Shade Garden
    Design Feature:
    Accent
    Border
    Mass Planting
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Rabbits
    Problems:
    Weedy