Eremostachys laciniata, Phlomis laciniata, Desert Spike

Eremostachys laciniata, Phlomis laciniata

Desert Spike
Family: Lamiaceae
Origin: Eastern Mediterranean
USDA Zone: 10-11?
USDA Plant Hardiness MapSmall plant 2-5 ftFull sunModerate waterYellow, orange flowersOrnamental foliageEthnomedical plant.
Plants marked as ethnomedical and/or described as medicinal, are not offered as medicine but rather as ornamentals or plant collectibles.
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Eremostachys laciniata is a small shrub that is well adapted to life in the Eastern Mediterranean. It is capable of growing 2 to 5 feet tall with an upright habit and finely-divided, ornamental foliage. The leaves are deep green, especially when grown in full sun and in the late spring, yellow to orange flower spikes will appear clustering along the stem tops of the plant.

These flowers are popular amongst bees and hummingbirds, making it an attractive addition to any garden. Despite being primarily a Mediterranean plant, Eremostachys laciniata can survive in cooler climates as the mature plants are hardy and can withstand temperatures around the 30s Fahrenheit for a short period without suffering permanent damage. This making it suitable for cold hardy gardeners located within the USDA zones 9-11.

Beyond being an ornamental plant, Eremostachys laciniata is also sought after for its ethnomedical properties. The leaves and stems can be dried and used to make a tea that has mild diuretic, expectorant, and anti-inflammatory medicinal effects.

In terms of care, Eremostachys laciniata is fairly easy to grow and doesn't require much attention. When planted in a container, it should be watered moderately throughout the season but allowing the soil to dry slightly between waterings. If planted in a cooler region, protecting the roots from the cold weather is essential - either bring the pot to a warm shelter during the winter or mulch around the plant outdoors to insulate the root zone. Furthermore, Eremostachys laciniata should receive plenty of sunlight to ensure optimal growth and health.

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