Dead Nettles (Archangel), Lamium sp.
Dead-Nettles, also known as Archangel, is a flowering plant that is native throughout Europe and Asia, growing in a variety of habitats from open grassland to woodland, generally on moist, fertile soils. They flower from Spring through to early Winter in the UK. Looking remarkably like the Common Nettle, but without the tingly, rash-causing sting (hence, "Dead" Nettle), Dead-Nettles are a great plant to forage with kids. A small drop of nectar can be sucked from the base of each of the flowers and much fun can be had by removed the flowers from the plants and chasing others whilst pretending they are real stinging nettles. Certainly something for Arthur to learn when Sybbie gets older! The flowers and young leaves of the plant are edible, and can be used in salads, cooked as a vegetable, or dried for tea. There are three species of Dead Nettle, the White Dead Nettle, (L. album), the Purple Dead Nettle (L. purpureum), and the Yellow Dead Nettle (L. galeobdolon), all look remarkably similar, with the ony difference being the colour of the flowers, being white, purple and yellow, respectivley. Yellow Dead Nettle is most commonly found in the UK as a garden escape with variegated leaves, and is considered an invasive plant.
Dead Nettle Checklist
🌳 Deciduous Woodland.
🌊 Waterways, including rivers, lakes and streams.
🏡 Urban Green Spaces, including scrubland, parks and gardens.
🚜 Hedgerows, including field edges.
🌸🌞🍂❄️ Jan - Dec
☘️ Green, nettle like leaves with serrated edges, growing in pairs along opposite sides of the stalk. The underside is covered in small non-stinging hairs. Some Yellow Dead Nettles often have variegated leaves and these are predominantly garden escapees.
🌷 Beautiful two-lipped flowers formed in groups around the stem. These flowers vary in colour depending on species and is where the plants get their common names of White, Purple and Yellow Dead Nettles.
🌱 Robust square stems that are green to reddish in colour, covered in small non-stinging hairs.
Aroma / Taste
👃 Indistinct Aroma.
👅 The young leaves taste similar to spinach when cooked. The small, pretty flowers also house a drop of nectar, which makes the flowers taste beautifully sweet.
🟩 ID Difficulty - Beginner
👀 The nettle-like appearance and slightly hairy, square stems, are a key identifier of this plant.
🤚 Despite looking just like a nettle, this plant doesn't sting.
⛔️ This plant could be confused with the Common (stinging) Nettle, and a misidentification could lead to a non-threatening, but all too familiar bumpy rash!
🥬 Green - Leaves can be cooked as a vegetable.
🌺 Garnish - The flowers can be eaten raw and used as a salad garnish.
🍓 Yummy - The flowers can be eaten straight from the plant whilst on a forage.
🥬 Green - Can be cooked as a leaf vegetable.
☕️ Beverage - Can be used to make teas or other drinks.
💊 Herbal Remedy - Is often used medicinally.