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Stachys coccinea (Scarlet betony)
Anderson, Wynn

Stachys coccinea

Stachys coccinea Ortega

Scarlet Betony, Texas Betony, Scarlet Hedgenettle, Scarlet Hedge-nettle

Lamiaceae (Mint Family)


USDA Symbol: stco

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

The stout, square stems of Scarlet Hedge-nettle or Texas Betony rise to 3 ft. or more and are lined with pairs of dark-green leaves becoming smaller up the stem. The inflorescence is an interrupted spike of two-lipped, bright-red, tubular flowers. A stout, erect, leafy plant, covered with soft hairs.

Its scarlet color distinguishes this species from other western plants of its genus, which are pink or purplish. If cultivated, it should be grown from seed. Stachys plants have no stinging hairs, as do true nettles, but resembles nettles in other ways, especially before flowering. In the Old World, some grow near hedges and are known as hedge-nettles.


From the Image Gallery

24 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Size Notes: Up to about 3 feet tall.
Fruit: Nutlets.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Red
Bloom Time: Jan , Feb , Mar , Apr , May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep , Oct , Nov


Native Distribution: W. TX to s. AZ & adjacent Mex.
Native Habitat: Moist crevices of steep slopes & canyons, Found in moist crevices and steep, stony places in the mountains of the Trans-Pecos. Moist, well-drained sand, loam, clay.

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
Soil Description: Moist soils.
Conditions Comments: Texas betony has aromatic foliage and a tremendous bloom show. The heaviest blooms are in early spring, but Texas betony continues to display vivid scarlet flowers throughout the season. Makes a good groundcover for shady places.


Use Wildlife: Flowers attract hummingbirds.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Fragrant Flowers: yes
Fragrant Foliage: yes
Attracts: Hummingbirds
Nectar Source: yes
Deer Resistant: High


Commercially Avail: yes

Mr. Smarty Plants says

Native plants for shady small spaces in Houston, TX
June 18, 2006
What are the best plants and flowers to plant in small spaces in an urban area in Houston, Texas? I have several flower beds that are 3 foot wide and 10-12 foot long that get half day sun. The area...
view the full question and answer

National Wetland Indicator Status

Status: FAC FAC
This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1 (Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here for map of regions.

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - Austin, TX
Texas Discovery Gardens - Dallas, TX
NPSOT - Native Plant Society of Texas - Fredericksburg, TX
NPSOT - Fredericksburg Chapter - Fredericksburg, TX
NPSOT - Austin Chapter - Austin, TX
NPSOT - Williamson County Chapter - Georgetown, TX


Bibref 995 - Native Landscaping from El Paso to L.A. (2000) Wasowski, S. and A. Wasowski

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Web Reference

Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter

Additional resources

USDA: Find Stachys coccinea in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Stachys coccinea in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Stachys coccinea


Record Modified: 2023-02-28
Research By: TWC Staff, LAS

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