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Alchemilla mollis

Alchemilla mollis (Buser) Rothm.


Lady’s Mantle

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae (from Stearn’s Botanical Latin)
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionMagnoliophytaFlowering plants, also known as angiosperms
ClassMagnoliopsidaDicotyledons—plants with two initial seed leaves
SubclassRosidaeRoses, legumes, proteas, dogwoods, hydrangeas, mistletoes, euphorbias, grapes, many more
OrderRosalesRose family and eight others
FamilyRosaceaeIncludes apples, apricots, plums, cherries, peaches, pears, raspberries, strawberries, almonds, roses, meadowsweets, photinias, firethorns, rowans, and hawthorns; many others
GenusAlchemillaTakes its name from some plant valued for its use in alchemy
SpeciesmollisSmooth, or with soft velvety hair

About plant names...

Lady’s mantle, named after the Virgin Mary’s cloak because of its scalloped leaves, originates in the eastern Carpathian Moun­tains in eastern Europe. Plants are low, less than 18" (45 cm) in height, with a width of 18-30" (45-76 cm). It is often used as a ground cover.

Raindrops ball up on the velvety leaves. The name of this genus, Alchemilla, derives from the alchemists’ belief that the mercury-like balls of water on these leaves was the purest form of water. They used this water in their attempts to turn base metals into gold.

Identification: This plant forms small mounds of scallop-edged slightly bluish leaves, with 9-11 rounded lobes edged with small sharp teeth. (The leaves look a bit like hardy geraniums.) The blooms are small and chartreuse in color. Depending upon who you ask, Alchemilla vulgaris is either a closely similar species, or the same plant.

Edibility: Cattle and sheep relish this plant, and the leaves and root are said to be edible to people as well.

Online References:

Alchemilla mollis at the Missouri Botanical Garden

Alchemilla mollis on Wikipedia

Alchemilla mollis on Wikimedia Commons

Alchemilla mollis on Plants for a Future, a resource and information centre for edible and otherwise useful plants

Alchemilla mollis (Lady’s Mantle)

7/17/2010 · Stan and Connie’s, Falmouth, ME
≈ 17 × 12" (44 × 29 cm)

Alchemilla mollis (Lady’s Mantle)

7/17/2010 · Stan and Connie’s, Falmouth, ME
≈ 7 × 4½" (17 × 11 cm)

Alchemilla mollis description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 16 Aug 2013.

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Alchemilla mollis (Lady’s Mantle)

7/17/2010 · Stan and Connie’s, Falmouth, ME
≈ 15 × 10" (39 × 26 cm)

Alchemilla mollis (Lady’s Mantle)

4/24/2007 · Tom and Susan’s, Pepperell, MA
≈ 11 × 7" (28 × 18 cm)

Alchemilla mollis (Lady’s Mantle)

8/1/2009 · Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, Boothbay, ME
≈ 26 × 17" (66 × 44 cm)

Alchemilla mollis (Lady’s Mantle)

5/17/2007 · Tom and Susan’s, Pepperell, MA
≈ 24 × 16" (62 × 41 cm)

Range: Zones 3a-8b:

About this map...