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Shining Lady's-mantle

Alchemilla micans

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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Rosaceae (Rose)
Also in this family:
Acute Leaf-lobed Lady's-mantle, Alpine Cinquefoil, Alpine Lady's-mantle, Ampfield Cotoneaster, Arran Service Tree, Arran Whitebeam, Barren Strawberry, Bastard Agrimony, Bastard Service Tree, Bearberry Cotoneaster, Bird Cherry, Blackthorn, Bloody Whitebeam, Bramble, Bristol Whitebeam, Broad-leaved Whitebeam, Broadtooth Lady's-mantle, Bronze Pirri-pirri-bur, Bullace Plum, Bullate Cotoneaster, Burnet Rose, Catacol Whitebeam, Caucasian Lady's-mantle, Cheddar Whitebeam, Cherry Laurel, Cherry Plum, Chinese Photinia, Cloudberry, Clustered Lady's-mantle, Common Agrimony, Common Hawthorn, Common Lady's-mantle, Common Medlar, Common Ninebark, Common Whitebeam, Crab Apple, Creeping Chinese Bramble, Creeping Cinquefoil, Crimean Lady's-mantle, Cultivated Apple, Cultivated Pear, Cut-leaved Blackberry, Damson, Devon Whitebeam, Dewberry, Diel's Cotoneaster, Dog Rose, Doward Whitebeam, Dropwort, Elm-leaved Bramble, English Whitebeam, Entire-leaved Cotoneaster, False Salmonberry, Field Rose, Firethorn, Fodder Burnet, Fragrant Agrimony, Franchet's Cotoneaster, Garden Lady's-mantle, Garden Strawberry, Giant Meadowsweet, Glaucous Dog Rose, Goatsbeard Spiraea, Gough's Rock Whitebeam, Great Burnet, Greengage Plum, Grey-leaved Whitebeam, Hairless Lady's-mantle, Hairy Lady's-mantle, Hautbois Strawberry, Himalayan Blackberry, Himalayan Cotoneaster, Himalayan Whitebeam, Hoary Cinquefoil, Hollyberry Cotoneaster, Hupeh Rowan, Hybrid Cinquefoil, Hybrid Geum, Irish Whitebeam, Japanese Cherry, Japanese Quince, Japanese Rose, Jew's Mallow, Juneberry, Lancaster Whitebeam, Late Cotoneaster, Least Lady's-mantle, Least Whitebeam, Leigh Woods Whitebeam, Ley's Whitebeam, Liljefor's Whitebeam, Littleleaf Cotoneaster, Llangollen Whitebeam, Llanthony Whitebeam, Lleyn Cotoneaster, Loganberry, Many-flowered Rose, Margaret's Whitebeam, Marsh Cinquefoil, Meadowsweet, Midland Hawthorn, Mougeot's Whitebeam, Mountain Ash, Mountain Avens, Mountain Sibbaldia, Moupin's Cotoneaster, No Parking Whitebeam, Ocean Spray, Orange Whitebeam, Pale Bridewort, Pale Lady's-mantle, Parsley Piert, Pirri-pirri-bur, Plymouth Pear, Portuguese Laurel, Purple-flowered Raspberry, Quince, Raspberry, Rock Cinquefoil, Rock Lady's-mantle, Rock Whitebeam, Round-leaved Dog Rose, Round-leaved Whitebeam, Rum Cherry, Russian Cinquefoil, Salad Burnet, Sargent's Rowan, Scannell's Whitebeam, Service Tree, Sharp-toothed Whitebeam, Sherard's Downy Rose, Ship Rock Whitebeam, Short-styled Rose, Shrubby Cinquefoil, Silver Lady's-mantle, Silverweed, Slender Parsley Piert, Slender-spined Bramble, Small-flowered Sweetbriar, Small-leaved Sweetbriar, Soft Downy Rose, Somerset Whitebeam, Sorbaria, Sour Cherry, Southern Downy Rose, Southern Lady's-mantle, Spineless Acaena, Spring Cinquefoil, St. Lucie's Cherry, Steeplebush, Stern's Cotoneaster, Stirton's Whitebeam, Stone Bramble, Sulphur Cinquefoil, Swedish Service Tree, Swedish Whitebeam, Sweet Briar, Symond's Yat Whitebeam, Tengyueh Cotoneaster, Thimbleberry, Thin-leaved Whitebeam, Tibetan Cotoneaster, Tormentil, Trailing Tormentil, Tree Cotoneaster, Trefoil Cinquefoil, Twin-cliffs Whitebeam, Two-spined Acaena, Wall Cotoneaster, Water Avens, Waterer's Cotoneaster, Waxy Lady's-mantle, Welsh Cotoneaster, Welsh Whitebeam, White Burnet, White's Whitebeam, White-stemmed Bramble, Wild Cherry, Wild Pear, Wild Plum, Wild Service Tree, Wild Strawberry, Willmott's Whitebeam, Willow-leaved Bridewort, Willow-leaved Cotoneaster, Wineberry, Wood Avens, Wye Whitebeam, Yellow-flowered Strawberry
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
40 centimetres tall
Gardens, grassland, roadsides.

Green, no petals
Clusters of yellowish-green flowers.
Small and insignificant fruit.
A hairy perennial species with roundish, palmately lobed leaves. The leaves each have 9 lobes. The leaf-teeth are pointed and uneven.
Other Names:
Velvet Lady's-mantle.
Frequency (UK):
Rarely seen  

Similar Species

Other Information


Alchemilla micans, also known as Velvet Lady's Mantle, is a perennial herb in the rose family. It is native to Europe and Asia and is known for its small, bright green leaves that are covered in soft, velvety hairs. The leaves are typically arranged in a rosette at the base of the plant, and the plant produces small, yellow flowers in the summer. It is commonly used as an ornamental plant in gardens and can also be used medicinally.


Shining Lady's-mantle, scientifically known as Alchemilla micans, is a beautiful perennial herb that belongs to the Rosaceae family. This plant is native to the European Alps and other mountainous regions of Europe, where it thrives in moist and shady environments. It is commonly known by several names, including Yellow Lady's-mantle, Alpine Lady's-mantle, and Golden Lady's-mantle.

Shining Lady's-mantle has distinctive leaves that are deeply lobed and serrated, with a silky, silvery-green underside that glistens in the sunlight. The leaves are about 5-10 cm in diameter and form a low-growing, compact rosette. In early summer, the plant produces small, yellow-green flowers that are arranged in clusters on erect stems that can reach up to 40 cm in height.

One of the most remarkable features of Shining Lady's-mantle is its leaves' ability to capture and hold water droplets, which give them a sparkling, jewel-like appearance. This phenomenon is due to the tiny hairs on the leaf surface that create a microclimate that encourages water droplets to form and remain on the leaves.

In traditional herbal medicine, Shining Lady's-mantle has been used to treat various ailments, including menstrual disorders, digestive problems, and skin irritations. It is believed to have anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, and anti-oxidant properties. The leaves and flowers of the plant are commonly used to make herbal teas and tinctures.

In addition to its medicinal properties, Shining Lady's-mantle is a popular ornamental plant that is widely cultivated in gardens and parks for its attractive foliage and delicate flowers. It is an excellent choice for rock gardens, woodland gardens, and as a ground cover in shaded areas.

If you're thinking of growing Shining Lady's-mantle in your garden, it's important to provide it with a moist and well-draining soil that is rich in organic matter. This plant prefers partial to full shade and can tolerate a range of temperatures, from cool to moderate. It is relatively easy to care for and requires minimal pruning or maintenance.

Shining Lady's-mantle has a fascinating history and has been used for various purposes throughout the centuries. Its scientific name, Alchemilla, comes from the Arabic word "al-kimia," which means "alchemy." This name was given to the plant because it was believed to have magical properties that could transform base metals into gold. In medieval times, it was commonly used by alchemists in their experiments.

In addition to its use in alchemy, Shining Lady's-mantle was also a popular medicinal herb in medieval Europe. It was often used to treat wounds, digestive problems, and menstrual disorders. The plant was also believed to have magical properties and was used in love potions and spells.

Today, Shining Lady's-mantle is still used in herbal medicine for a variety of purposes. Its leaves and flowers are commonly used to make teas, tinctures, and other herbal remedies. It is believed to have anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties and is often used to treat skin irritations, digestive problems, and menstrual disorders.

Shining Lady's-mantle is also an important plant for wildlife. Its leaves provide shelter and food for various insects, including butterflies and moths. The plant's flowers are also a source of nectar for bees and other pollinators.

If you're interested in growing Shining Lady's-mantle in your garden, there are several cultivars available that offer different leaf and flower colors. For example, the cultivar Alchemilla micans 'Auslese' has bright green leaves with a silvery sheen, while Alchemilla micans 'Lady's Mantle' has yellow-green leaves with a red tinge.

In terms of care, Shining Lady's-mantle is a relatively easy plant to grow. It prefers a moist and well-draining soil that is rich in organic matter. The plant does well in partial to full shade and can tolerate a range of temperatures, from cool to moderate. It does not require much pruning or maintenance and is generally pest and disease resistant.

One interesting aspect of Shining Lady's-mantle is its use in traditional Chinese medicine. In China, it is known as Yinfengcao and is believed to have a cooling and detoxifying effect on the body. It is often used to treat conditions such as high blood pressure, liver problems, and skin rashes.

Shining Lady's-mantle has also been studied for its potential anti-cancer properties. Some research suggests that the plant may have compounds that can inhibit the growth and spread of cancer cells. While more studies are needed to confirm these findings, they suggest that Shining Lady's-mantle could have promising applications in cancer treatment and prevention.

Another interesting feature of Shining Lady's-mantle is its ability to accumulate heavy metals. This means that the plant can be used for phytoremediation, a process by which plants are used to clean up contaminated soils. Studies have shown that Shining Lady's-mantle can effectively remove heavy metals such as cadmium and lead from contaminated soils, making it a valuable tool for environmental cleanup efforts.

In addition to its many uses, Shining Lady's-mantle also has cultural significance in some parts of the world. In Switzerland, for example, the plant is associated with the legend of William Tell, a folk hero who fought for Swiss independence. According to legend, Tell used a Shining Lady's-mantle leaf to catch an apple that was placed on his son's head, demonstrating his archery skills and loyalty to the Swiss cause.

Overall, Shining Lady's-mantle is a fascinating and versatile plant with a rich history and many potential applications. Whether you're interested in its ornamental value, its medicinal properties, or its role in environmental cleanup, there are many reasons to appreciate this beautiful and unique herb.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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