Leonurus cardiaca. Perennial in zones 3-9.
Highly medicinal and intensely bitter perennial member of the mint family that grows to 3’ tall and produces small purple flowers in the second year. Motherwort’s flowering tops make a unique cut flower and its presence in the garden is also ornamental. Used medicinally across many herbal traditions for endocrine related issues, uterine health, cardiovascular function, anxiety, and more. We are attracted to its power as a heart calming herb. Tincture is made from the flowering tops, with stem removed, just as the first flowers open. Self-sows. Aka, lion’s tail, throw-wort, lion’s ear.
Requires stratification to germinate; sow in pots in late fall or very early spring and transplant to 12″ centers. Germination may be slow and erratic. Prefers well-drained soil and full sun to part shade. Self-seeds freely and is considered invasive in some areas – deadhead or cut plant back to 3-5 inches after flowering to limit spread. May also be propagated by root division.
Collect seeds for culinary use or seed saving from seed heads that are fully dry. Thresh by hand; winnow or screen to clean. Some cross-pollination may occur, isolate from other varieties of the same species by 1/4 mile.