Plant of the Month for January 2012

Dracocephalum heterophyllum; photo by Todd Boland
Dracocephalum heterophyllum

Description and general information

Dracocephalum heterophyllum , also known as white dragonhead, forms a somewhat mounding plant 10-15 cm (rarely to 30 cm) with round to spoon-shaped, stiffly hairy leaves. The leaf edges have shallow, rouned teeth and the leaves emit a pleasant fragrance when bruised. Flowers are produced in relatively large round to cylindrical heads at the ends of the semi-prostrate stems.

This Dracocephalum inhabits mountain meadows and barren slopes and screes at elevations of 1100-5000 m. It is a wide-ranging species native to the Himalayas of China, Sikkim, Nepal, SE Tibet, Soviet central asia, Pakistan and NE Afghanistan.


This species requires well-drained soil and full sun. They are very drought tolerant but do not like winter-wet. It is hardy to zone 3 (it is known to survive in Calgary, Alberta).

Bloom period

Mostly June through August but as early as May in mild regions.


Seed, division and cuttings.


Sow seed at 15-20°C. If germination does not occur within 4 weeks, chill them at 4°C for 4 weeks.


Division of larger plants in spring or autumn.


Basal cuttings may be taken when the new growths are a few centimetres long (April/June).

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