Information on Lady's-mantle

Common Name: Lady's-mantle
Scientific Name: Alchemilla vulgaris
Irish Name: Dearna Mhuire
Family Group: Rosaceae
Distribution: View Map (Courtesy of the BSBI)
Flowering Period

Click for list of all flowering by month
Lady's-mantle is not easily confused with other wild plants on this web site.

The name Lady's-mantle covers quite a few plants which are remarkably similar to one another. The identifying feature of the plant collection is its distinctive leaves which seem to be pleated, are palmately lobed, with some cut down to the base, others not so.  These leaves are velvety and as can be seen from the photograph hold drops of moisture on warm days.  This is not rain or dew but rather the moisture emanates from the leaves themselves through small pores.  They have very tiny little green flowers (3mm approx) without petals.  The flowers are in terminal cymes or clusters and they bloom from May to September.  These plants belong to the very large family Rosaceae and are native.

I found my first Lady's-mantle on the slopes of Ballycahill, County Clare in 1981.  I photographed it on Slieve Elva in 2009 and the first two photographs of the flowers and the also single leaf are of the plants growing there. The other photographs were taken in County Wexford in 2008 and I am sure, by their location, they are garden escapes. Paul Green, Vice-county Recorder for Wexford, tells me they are Achemilla mollis, a garden variety. 

If you are satisfied you have correctly identified this plant, please submit your sighting to the National Biodiversity Data Centre

The name Lady's-mantle refers to the cloak-like leaves of the plant.  Nicholas Culpeper advised women wishing to become pregnant to drink the liquid from the leaves of Lady's-Mantle for twenty days and counselled that it would also help them if they sat in a bath into which they had added some of  these precious drops.