Alchemilla mollis

Droplets of water on Alchemilla mollis leaves.
  • Common name: Lady’s mantle
  • Type:  Clump forming herbaceous perennial
  • Height and spread: 50 cm
  • Aspect: Any
  • Hardiness: Fully hardy 
  • Care: Easy

Alchemilla mollis  is a cottage garden favourite, grown for its clusters of dainty sulphur yellow flowers on long slender stems.

Want to find them at Reveley?  Look for its nodding head of yellow flowers everywhere, it self seeds freely, brightening many of the garden’s borders.

Alchemilla for all its dainty appearance is a tough plant, happy in shade, half shade and full sun, and any aspect, exposed or sheltered.  Winter hardy, soil sandy or clay, neutral or acid, but must be moisture retentive and well drained. 

The leaves, appearing before the flowers, are just as attractive as the dainty flowers, forming a clump of soft hairy, light green leaves with scalloped edges.

Alchemilla is generally pest and disease free, it is a common sight in many gardens, but what is there not to like about this easy to care for and pretty plant?

Care: Sow seeds in spring, or divide clumps in autumn or spring.  Cut back flowers and foliage when plants become untidy to encourage new growth.  Unwanted plants can be easily pulled out, with no taproot left behind or creeping rhizomes to worry about.

Use: In flower borders, cottage garden planting, informal planting, with roses, grow Alchemilla  in a cutting garden to use as a filler flower for extra zing in bouquets.

Following a shower of rain the leaves of Alchemilla, like a cupped hand, will hold a droplet of water, which will glisten, almost silver in the sunshine. In bygone days, alchemists believed these droplets of water to be the purest form of water and used them in their experiments to turn base metal into gold.  Alas they failed, but their legacy lives on in the name of the plan.