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The Wollziest (Stachys byzantina) has numerous relatives within the genus Stachys, which have also been used as medicinal plants since the Middle Ages. Choosing the right variety for your own garden depends on how you want to integrate the plant into the garden design.

The subspecies 'Silver Carpet' rarely forms flowers

Characteristics and care of the wild form of Stachys byzantina

In its original form, the Wollziest (Stachys byzantina) can still be found in countries such as Iran, Turkey and Armenia on sometimes extremely barren soils. It is characterized above all by the following properties:

  • very insensitive to drought due to the finely hairy leaves
  • relatively prolific
  • non-toxic and usable as a medicinal plant
  • gets by with few nutrients
  • does not tolerate waterlogging

The flowers of the wild variety Stachys byzantina form in the leaf axil and are relatively inconspicuous with their pink to purple hue against the silver-grey background of the leaves and plant stems. Since the woolly, hairy leaf mass is the main visual focus of the Wollziest for most gardeners, the flower stalks that form are often simply cut off.

Rotten flowering Wollziest as the focus of desire

Due to the aversion of many gardeners to the flowers of the Wollziest, a Wollziest variety was bred with the subspecies "Silver Carpet", which produces little or no inflorescences. These plants can therefore usually only be propagated by division. However, they also spread themselves over time on available areas and thus serve as a slightly higher ground cover. Since the leaves of the "Silver Carpet" variety are also dipped in a silvery gray due to the fine hairs, you can use them as underplanting to set flat contrasts to other flowering plants such as roses.

Wollziest in the form of cotton

The Stachys byzantina "Cotton Boll" variety, also known as cotton ziest, forms impressive flower balls in which the actual, pink flowers disappear optically in the large, woolly flower balls. The flower stalks are reminiscent of a cotton plant overall in shape and are about 40 to 60 centimeters high.


If the Wollziest variety "Cotton Boll" is to be cut back after flowering as part of plant care, it is worth drying the flower stalks for later use in dried bouquets.

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