A very useful group of herbaceous perennials and evergreen shrubs. Tolerant of poor, free-draining soils, but will extend into an average garden border. Most growing in full sun, but P. russeliana will take some shade. Foliage is aromatic and often attractive in its own right, with some looking silvery stachys-like. Flowers, yellow, pink or purple, in whorls on often vertical stems. The seed heads can be left standing over winter. There are around 100 species, with around a third from the Mediterranean area, in open, rocky places. Phlomis derives from the Greek phlogmos, meaning 'flame' as the leaves of some species were used as lamp wicks.