In the Garden
Common Lady’s Mantle (Alchemilla vulgaris)
Soft Lady’s Mantle (A. mollis)
*Also known as smooth lady’s mantle
Both are also known as dew cup and lion’s foot
The leaves of these plants are slightly cupped and round with pleated lobes. They are distinctive for their ability to hold beads of rain or dew. Lady’s mantle grows in spreading mounds that can be a foot or more wide. Clusters of small flowers bloom from June to August.
A popular garden perennial, soft lady’s mantle has gray-green leaves with tiny hairs, which give them a soft texture. This is the source of its species name mollis, which means “soft.” 59 Its flowers are yellowish-green and grow atop stems that are about eighteen inches tall. Common lady’s mantle has fewer hairs on its leaves and green flowers. It is a smaller plant with stems reaching only about twelve to fifteen inches tall. Because these two plants are so similar, there is confusion and disagreement as to whether they are actually the same species.
Lady’s mantle is called dew cup because moisture remains on its leaves long after evaporating from other plants. Dew was thought to be magical, and lady’s mantle was believed to impart even more power to it. Considered the purest form of water, dew was important in alchemy and from this came the genus name Alchemilla, which means “little alchemist.” 60 Lady’s mantle has been used as a medicinal herb for centuries, especially for women’s health.
Place a bouquet of flowers on your altar for women’s rituals, full moon rituals, and for healing circles. Use dried flowers and/or leaves in sachets for love spells and to increase romance. This plant also boosts the power of other spells. Hold a leaf between your hands to help you focus your mind and energy before divination sessions.
Lady’s mantle is associated with the element water and the goddesses Gaia, Demeter, Freya, and Rhea. Its astrological influence comes from Venus.
Figure 19. Lady’s Mantle is associated with the rune Berkana.