Horehound, Black (Ballota nigra), packet of 20 seeds, organic
Family: Mint (Lamiaceae)
Hardy to Zones 5 to 10
Herbaceous perennial flowering 2 to 3 feet tall, native to the Mediterranean basin. Black Horehound is a hemispherical, lavender to reddish-purple flowered, dark-foliaged specimen plant, quite unusual in the trade and rarely met with in gardens in the US. Besides the dark green to almost black, pubescent foliage, the plant is distinguished by its malodor, as well as the globular buds that eventually open to reveal the open maw of the corollas. Traditional usage of fresh or dried leaves and flowers made into tea (TWM): nervine sedative, antiemetic. antioxidant, antibacterial, antidiabetic, antifeedant and hypoglycemic. Source of phenylpropanoid glycosides, monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes. The plant prefers full sun to part shade, mesic to moist, nitrogen-rich soils and withstands a wide range of pH from 5 to 7.5. Black horehound will do pretty well in standard garden soil, although should the soil be insufficiently well-drained, the plant has a tendency to disappear after the first year of growth. Flowers usually in the second year and ongoing. Sow seeds outdoors in the early spring. If planting in the greenhouse or under lights, a 30-day period of moist refrigeration will speed germination response and improve germination. Barely cover, tamp securely and keep evenly moist and in the light until germination, which takes 1 to 3 weeks. Work up seedlings in pots until adequately sized to withstand the rigors of the landscape. Side-dress with organic compost and keep well-watered until the taproot establishes itself, at which point the plant becomes somewhat drought-tolerant. Space plants 2 feet apart.
20 seeds/pkt., Certified Organically Grown