Lady’s Mantle, a perennial herb belonging to the Rose family, has a long history of curative and magical powers. I mostly admire Lady’s Mantle for its leaves and the way they catch the rain and dew. Apparently so have many others before me. Throughout history, these dainty drops adorning the leaves of Lady’s Mantle were considered mystical and constituted the part of many potions. Considered by alchemists to be the purest form of water, they used them in their quest to turn base metal into gold – hence the name “Alchemilla”. (The generic name Alchemilla is derived from the Arabic word, Alkemelych – alchemy.) In earlier times, it was also believed the dew that collected on the leaves was thought to preserve a lady’s complexion and took on extra magical powers if collected by the light of a full moon. Lady’s Mantle also been used in traditional medicine as an astringent tonic for skin conditions, as a tea in the treatment of menstrual and digestive problems, and to dress wounds so that they may heal faster.
Lady’s Mantle is said to be named after the Virgin Mary’s cloak because the lobes of the leaves were thought to resemble the scalloped edges of a mantle. Its tiny chartreuse to yellow flowers dance above its frilly foliage like lace. Lady’s Mantle prefers to grow in partial shade. Mine grows in sun as well, in moist soil, but I am in a cooler zone. Aside from an elegant edging, it also makes a graceful groundcover.
To read about my previous choices for a dozen for Diana, click below.
February: Wild Roses
Hmmm, if I scratch myself training the wild roses, I could try applying some Lady’s Mantle to my scrapes!
Sources: Botanical, Global Garden, Live and Feel