Alchemilla mollis by Anneli Salo (Own work)
Alchemilla - Lady's Mantle
This genus in Rosaceae has over 250 species, which are mostly native to the temperate areas of the northern hemisphere. They can be found from the Arctic, Eurasia and parts of North America. a few species are also found in the mountains of tropical Africa, India and Java. A number of species are very similar and difficult to differentiate.
Most of the species are perennials growing from woody rhizomes and have palmate or palmately lobed foliage. The flowers are small, lacking petals, green or yellow, and clustered into loose or tight heads.
They are grown in full sun to part shade on moisture retentive but not wet soils. A humus rich loamy soil is ideal for most species. A. alpina like acid soils, while A. hoppeane likes limey soils, most species though fall in the middle. The smaller species are nice rock garden subjects in an alpine garden while the large species are suited for rock gardens, the border or naturalized in an open woodland setting. They do not like hot or dry summers, and cold winters with little snow cover and winter sun causes severe winter damage.