Alchemilla commonly known by the name as Lady’s mantle or Alchemilla Mollis is a Perennial plant growing up to a height of one to two feet height.
It belongs to the genus of nearly 300 species in the rose family (Rosaceae). It is widely seen in the mountains of Europe Asia and America. It is noted for its medicinal properties. It is widely used for stomach ailments and as a dye for wool green. The other medicinal properties will be explained below under the title Medicinal Benefits. Proper care and control of its growth should be maintained as it has a very invasive plant due to the vast quantity of seed production. Within a short span of time, it will get covered to a vast area of land.
Let’s have a look at the scientific overview of the plant.
- Genus : Alchemilla
- Species : Mollis
- Family : Rosaceae
- Life Cycle : Perennial
- Bloom time : June to September
- Country Or Region Of Origin : Europe Asia and America
- Distribution : Widely throughout the world
- Wildlife Value : Attracts butterflies
- Dimensions : Height: 1 ft. 0 in. – 1 ft. 6 in.
Width: 1 ft. 0 in. – 1 ft. 6 in.
It is in flower mode from June to September. At this time, the plants start flowering. The species is hermaphrodite which means it has both male and female organs. The pollination method is Apomictic (reproduce by seeds formed without sexual fusion)
This plant has a very long history of medicinal usage primarily for external use for the ailments of cuts and wounds. Its stem leaves and flowers all have medicinal properties in them. There is no proven record to suggest the medicinal property to its roots.
It is also used internally, to cure stomach ailments such as diarrhea, diabetes, water retention, swelling, and muscle spasms. It is also used to gargle sore throats. It has got the chemical called tannins, which is helpful in controlling stomach problems.
Women use Alchemilla for painful menstrual periods and for menopause. Continued use of this plant can ease the discomfort of menopause and excessive menstruation. It helps stop the vaginal discharge and is also good for conjunctivitis.
Though it is used to cure many ailments, studies are still on regarding its rate of curability and its medicinal ability.
Alchemilla Side effects
It can be consumed internally as it is edible and has no side effects.. But some people complain of swelling and itching when applied to the skin and wounds.
It is mainly used in salads and other foods. Add some leaves in boiling water and hold it for some time, drain it and drink the water just like green tea which is good for health.
Colour of Flower:
Besides its medicinal property, it is also a garden flower. It has beautiful and tiny yellow flowers covered in big leaves. The leaves are hairy and can hold water after rain. It is very beautiful to see tiny drops of water drops held by the leaves which look like diamonds studded in the leaves.
Being a plant of Europe and Asian countries where coldness is high, it is not drought tolerant and requires water and moisture. It should be watered when the soil moisture is low. The old leaves will completely turn brown when new leaves appear. Remove the old leaves. It will help the new leaves to grow easily.
Lady’s mantle is not very much particular about the soil but it does best in a soil that is slightly acidic to neutral. It grows well in moist soils and cooler weather conditions. The soil type might be well-drained. Clay soil is also very good for its growth. If soil is dry, make periodic watering.. These plants are easy to grow and will spread exponentially unless it is controlled.
If not controlled, it grows out of control and spreads to vast areas in no time. This is because it produces seeds in large numbers. To prevent this, deadhead the flowers as soon as they start to wither to avoid self-seeding.
If you are using the seed for planting, sow the seed in a cool climate. It will start germinating in around three weeks. When the leaves are coming out, we can pick the seedlings into individual pots and grow them. The best time to spread the seed is in the fall or in early spring.
As it is an invasive plant, caring is the least important unless the soil is moist. To check the spread, we can plant them in the pot. Pick the old leaves and flowers so that new flowers and leaves can sprout easily. If it is spreading to unwanted areas. Pick them at once to control its spread.
It has a low maintenance cost. It’s not necessary to fertilize these plants unless you have poor soil. If so, add some organic fertilizers which can compensate for the poor soil.
It can withstand drought-like situations for some days. Ideally, water them regularly if the soil is dry and water retention is relatively low.
Diseases and pests
Lady’s mantle is always very healthy and doesn’t get attacked by any pests or diseases. The most common scenario will be leaf scorch which can be controlled by spraying enough water and planting them in the half-shady location.
-by Padmanabhan S (Content writer Intern)