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Gardening in the Rainy Zone.
SEVEN-UP PLANT, SCARLET HEDGENETTLE, BETONY
Sunset zones: 7-10, 12-24.
USDA zones: 7-9.
Height 16 inches (40 cm).
Width 12 inches (30 cm).
Stems with whorls of fragrant, salmon-coral hued flowers.
Gray felted, green, triangular foliage.
Clump forming perennial.
Full sun to partial shade.
Well-drained, somewhat fertile soil.
Rainy Side Notes
Being in the mint family and closely related to lamb's-ears (Stachys byzantina), you might be nervous to add S. ‘Hidalgo’ to your garden. Fear not, for it is a well-behaved member of an interesting family filled with many thugs.
The best part about 'Hidalgo' is its fruity, 7-Up fragrance, followed by its salmon-coral flowers that are powerful hummingbird magnets. This sprawling, drought-tolerant, long-blooming perennial covered in attractive gray felted foliage, is resistant to deer. It's no wonder. In taste tests around the world, deer have continually turned up their noses at Dr. Pepper and Pepsi products.
I grew this back at the turn of the century (That makes me sound old.). In my garden, this cute little perennial rubbed elbows with Penstemon 'Blackbird'. Back then, I seemed to have a thing for spikes and racemes—they were everywhere in my garden. When I became aware of what I was doing, I added more mounded plants to balance out the flowers-on-a-stick theme I had going.
This perennial is sometimes listed as Stachys coccinea 'Hidalgo', and when I purchased the plant many moons ago, it was sold to me as S. albomentosa 'Hidalgo'. No matter which species it falls under, this hybrid member of the mint family is a star as a cut flower. A friend of mine brought it over in a bouquet from his garden one day and I set it out on my shady front deck where two weeks later, it looked as fresh as the first day it was cut. Plus, it lingered for another week after the other flowers in the vase had faded.
Photographed in author's garden.
Perennials indexed by botanical names. Click on corresponding letter below.