Oct 11, 2010

Yellow Archangel - Lamiastrum galeobdolon

I have a few shady spots in my yard that I have called "dead zones" over the years for their seeming inability to sustain any significant ornamental plant growth. This year I decided to try out a few hardy perennials in an effort to dispel the notion that these places must forever remain barren.

One of the most successful of the additions has been yellow archangel, pictured on your left. Also known by the scientific name of Lamiastrum galeobdolon, this rhizome-based plant appears to be thriving in a nutrient-poor area under a maple tree in my yard. I started out with a handful of small plants I ordered on eBay, and in just a few months I have cultivated a pair of thick 6-square-foot stands of yellow archangel.

Yet not all horticulturalists and botanists love the lowly yellow archangel, and it is considered by some folks to be a noxious weed for its invasive tendencies. I can see where this plant would be difficult to control by a casual or lazy gardener, as it sends out tendril-like vines that spread fairly quickly, and the plant can be propagated by even the smallest piece of the rhizome.

So if you are thinking of adding this plant to your garden, be aware that yellow archangel should be isolated from other plants and that you may need to be aggressive in controlling its spread.

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