No trace of Lady's Mantle is found in the rocks. It is an Arctic plant found in the North Temperate and Arctic regions in Arctic Europe, N. and W. Asia, Kashmir, Greenland, Labrador. In Great Britain it occurs in every part of the country except in Mid Lancashire, as far north as the Shetlands. In the Highlands it is found at a height of 3600 ft. It is native also in Ireland and the Channel Islands.

Lady's Mantle is a plant of the uplands, being rarely found at low levels. Whilst it grows in meadows and fields of intermediate altitude, it is more often found on the sides of hills, where such plants as Viola calcarea, Hieracium Pilosella, Salad Burnet, Koeleria, and other plants are found.

It is an erect plant, with kidney-shaped leaves, plaited, with 6-9 lobes, and toothed, the stem and leaf-stalks being smooth, the leaves greenish below and downy. The stipules or leaf-like organs on the leaf-stalks are united at the base and toothed. The leaves are mainly radical leaves, and spring from the rootstock, being large and neat. Such leaves borne on the flowering stems are without stalks.

Lady's Mantle (Alchemilla vulgaris, L.)

Photo. J. H. Crabtree - Lady's Mantle (Alchemilla vulgaris, L.)

The yellowish-green flowers are borne in racemose cymes, which are spiked and panicled. The short flower-stalks are downy, and the texture of the whole plant is more or less silky. The achenes or fruits are few and glandular.

Occasionally the stem is a foot long, usually less, or about 6 in. June to August are the months when the flowers are in bloom. The plant is propagated by dividing the roots. It is a deciduous, herbaceous perennial.

The small flowers have no corolla. Because they are green beetles do not visit them. There is a yellow, fleshy ring on the inner wall of the receptacular tube which surrounds the style (and later the ovary) which secretes a thin layer of honey, giving a greenish-yellow colour to the flower.