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Belton, MO 64012
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Stachys betonica

Wood Betony

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Stachys betonica (Wood Betony)

An interesting wildflower found in woods and forest clearings, in mesic to dry black soil prairies, savannas, and borders of lakes. Small flowers, about 3/4" long, bloom in yellow, rusty-red, or both between April and June. The flowers are replaced by large fruits that are angular and hairy.

The foliage consists primarily of basal leaves up to 6" long and 2" across, which are arranged as a rosette. From the center of this rosette, emerges a stout flowering stalk, which is often covered with long white hairs. The stalk itself may be green or reddish brown. There are a few small leaves that alternate along this stem.

The root system consists of a taproot, and lateral roots that are parasitic on the roots of grasses and possibly other plants. Wood Betony, however, is capable of normal growth and development even when suitable host plants are unavailable. This plant often forms colonies by reseeding itself.

Additional Information:
This plant is often associated with the Black Oak in woodlands and savannas. Because of its parasitic habit, there is a tendency for the surrounding grass to be shorter in height than it would be normally, creating open areas along the ground where colonies of Wood Betony occur.

Wood Betony is used in a variety of homeopathic remedies.

5-14 Inches


12-15 Inches


Bloom/Seasonal Color

Home Owner Growing and Maintenance Tips:
The preference is partial to full sun, mesic to dry conditions, and a somewhat acidic soil, which can be loamy or sandy. Most of the growth and development of this plant occurs during the spring, although the leaves stay green during the summer.

Characteristics & Attributes

Hydrologic Designation


Nature Attracting

Beneficial Insects



Season of Interest

Mid (May-June)

Soil Moisture


Special Uses

Ground Cover

Sun Exposure

Medium Sun/Average Shade
Full Sun