Lady's mantles are attractive perennials usually grown for both their round, pleated foliage and their unusual chartreuse flowers. The plants grow between 8 and 14 inches high, with lobed leaves of silvery gray-green that bear silky hairs. The flowers appear in early summer, standing well above the leaves, and last for several weeks.
How to grow: Lady's mantles are easy to grow in average garden soil where summers are cool and moist, preferring some protection from hot sun in midsummer. In warmer parts of the country, they need a moist, fertile soil and light shade. As the summer progresses, the plants become larger and do not look as neat. Divide or thin if plants become too crowded.
Propagation: By division in spring. Plants sometimes self-sow.
Uses: Use lady's mantle in the front of the garden border or along the edge of a low wall where the leaves are easy to see. The flowers can be used for bouquets.
Related species: Alchemilla alpina, alpine lady's mantle, grows about eight inches high; A. erythropoda grows six inches high. A. mollis has taller flowers with a yellowish cast. Pick them for bouquets and wreaths before they are fully opened.
Scientific name: Alchemilla species