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Arboretum Spotlight: Hildago stachys adds fizz to landscape

Arboretum Spotlight: Hidalgo stachys has felt-like leaves and smells like 7-Up. It's another water-wise addition to Sacramento gardens recommended by the UC Davis Arboretum.
Arboretum Spotlight: Hidalgo stachys has felt-like leaves and smells like 7-Up. It's another water-wise addition to Sacramento gardens recommended by the UC Davis Arboretum.

This is part of a weekly series featuring the UC Davis Arboretum’s “40 Plants You (Probably) Have Never Heard of – But Will Love,” 40 can’t-fail, easy-care, low-water plants well adapted to our region but hard to find.

Hidalgo stachys

Stachys albotomentosa ‘Hidalgo’

Size: 1 to 2 feet tall by 2 to 3 feet wide

Bloom season: Summer; flowers start peach to salmon color when they emerge and age to brick red.

Exposure: Full sun to partial shade

Pruning needs: Shape as desired.

Water needs: Medium to low; once established, water deeply once a week.

Snapshot: This pretty perennial will get your garden bubbling with activity – and effervescent scent, too. Hidalgo stachys is an evergreen sprawling perennial with felt-like leaves that are pleasantly aromatic; the scent reminds people of 7-Up. The peach-hued flowers rise above the foliage in summer and attract butterflies, bees and hummingbirds. As they age, the blooms change color from soft salmon to dark brick red. Another plus for foothill gardeners: Stachys is deer-resistant.

For more on “40 Plants,” click on arboretum.ucdavis.edu.

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