What is Alchemilla?

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  • Written By: O. Parker
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  • Last Modified Date: 26 November 2019
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Alchemilla is a perennial herbaceous plant native to Europe and the British Isles. Alchemilla, commonly called lady’s mantle, is a member of the rosaceae family. The silver-green leaves add soft color to gardens, where it is commonly used to edge pathways and provide contrast to bright flowers. Herbalists have used lady’s mantle for centuries as a medicinal plant.

There are more than 300 species of alchemilla, and common varieties include alchemilla xanthochlora, alchemilla mollis, and alchemilla alpina, or alpine lady’s mantle. Alchemilla xanthochlora is commonly found in garden settings and landscapes. It grows about 12 inches (30 cm) tall in clumps about 12 inches (30 cm) wide. Alchemilla mollis, another common garden species, grows 24 inches tall (about 60 cm) in clumps 30 inches wide (about 75 cm). Alpine lady’s mantle is smaller, growing only 8 inches (20 cm) tall in clumps 8 inches (20 cm) wide.

The natural range of Alchemilla includes open woodlands, damp meadows and rocky hillsides. The lime green flowers bloom from early to late summer and the seeds ripen in late summer and early fall. The leaves have a pleated fan shape that forms a shallow cup. After a rain storm, water droplets collect in the leaves, creating a shimmering effect over the whole plant.


In the garden, this plant grows well in partial shade and moist, fertile soil. In cool climates, lady’s mantle will grow in full sun. This versatile plant is used to soften garden edges, create ground cover, or fill in shaded areas under trees and larger shrubs. Nutrition requirements are low and additional fertilizer should only be necessary if the soil is particularly poor. Lady’s mantle has few predators and requires minimal maintenance in the garden.

Lady's mantle spreads from an underground root system. In areas where winter temperatures drop below freezing for long periods, the plant will die back to the ground. The dead stalks should be cut back early in the spring to encourage new growth. In mild climates, the plant will remain green all year. Dead leaves and flower stalks should be clipped from the plant throughout the growing season.

Division of the root ball is performed in the spring and fall. The divisions can be planted directly into the soil or grown in pots for the first year. Fall divisions should be grown in pots for the first winter in frost-heavy areas. The seeds are collected in the fall and sown the following spring.


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Post 3

@ TheDoctor Alchemilla vulgaris thriller has some really pretty flowers and and decent growing area but you have to be really careful about hot dry days. This is one variation that is not as forgiving as some of it’s cousins and need a bit more attention to detail. The great part about it though is it’s natural resistance to herbivores.

Post 2

Alchemilla vulgaris tea is a great supplement for weight loss! Of course you can’t just use it by itself, you have to follow the usual diet rules as well, avoid the sweets, fried foods, alcohol, get plenty of exercise. Make sure you are sleeping correctly. The tea is available at just about any health food store, or it can be purchased online as well, as the herb is fairly easily grown and readily available.

Post 1

My sister is a naturopath and she goes on and on about this stuff. Apparently alchemilla vulgaris has had a number of uses in the past for everything from menstruation to dental healing -- who knew! My sister said that it was more thought of as a “woman’s herb” in the past, and she still primarily recommends it to women, but of course men now use it as well.

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