Leonurus cardiaca  • 

Photo: Motherwort

General description

L. cardiaca has a squarish stem which is clad in short hairs and is often purplish, especially near the nodes. The opposite leaves have serrated margins and are palmately lobed with long petioles; basal leaves are wedge shaped with three points while the upper leaves have five. They are slightly hairy above and greyish beneath. Flowers appear in leaf axils on the upper part of the plant and have three-lobed bracts. The calyx of each flower is bell-shaped and has five lobes. The flowers are pink to lilac in colour often with furry lower lips. There are four stamens, two short and two longer, and the fruit is a four-chambered schizocarp. The plant grows to about 60 to 100 cm in height and blooms during July and August.

Plant requirements

This plant has no description yet.


Motherwort is probably native to the southeastern part of Europe and central Asia where it has been cultivated since ancient times. Its natural habitat is beside roadsides, in vacant fields, waste ground, rubbish dumps and other disturbed areas.This plant prefers well drained soil and a partly shady location. It is hardy in USDA climate zones 4–8. When once planted in a garden, Motherwort will soon increase if the seeds are permitted to scatter. It is perfectly hardy and needs no special soil, and the roots will continue for many years.

Practical use

For a possible tranquilizing, uterine stimulating, blood pressure-lowering infusion, use 1-2 teaspoons of dried herb per cup of boiling water. Steep 10 minutes. Drink up to 2 cups a day, a tablespoon at a time. Because of the very bitter taste, add sugar, honey, and lemon or mix it into an herbal beverage tea to improve flavor. In a tincture, take ½ to 1 teaspoon up to twice a day. Do not give to children under age 2.


1 - 160 cm
Soil type
Loam, Sand
Full sun