Stachys sylvatica, The Hedge Woundwort

Hedge Woundwort (Stachys sylvatica)Hedge Woundwort is native to Europe and much of Asia, it can be found all over the UK with the exception of the Scottish Highlands.

A woodland plant it is most commonly found in woodland edge and hedgerow habitat. It is a member of the Mint family and sometimes called a  Dead-nettle, although this one is not a Lamium.

Hedge Woundwort (Stachys sylvatica)Purple flowers grow in whorls above a pair of opposite leaves. The flower spike can be a metre tall.

The stem is very distinctive , being square and hairy with well defined purple corners.

Hedge Woundwort (Stachys sylvatica) Hedge Woundwort (Stachys sylvatica)   Hedge Woundwort (Stachys sylvatica)   Hedge Woundwort (Stachys sylvatica)The leaves grow in opposite pairs up the stem, there is no basal rosette. They are heart shaped and hairy, with sharply toothed edges and grow on long flattened stalks.

Hedge Woundwort (Stachys sylvatica) Hedge Woundwort (Stachys sylvatica)   Hedge Woundwort (Stachys sylvatica)   Hedge Woundwort (Stachys sylvatica)The leaves have an unpleasant smell when crushed, possibly a defence against being eaten.

The flowers take the form of a tubular corolla emerging from a calyx of five pointed sepals. They have a hood and a three lobed bottom lip.

Hedge Woundwort (Stachys sylvatica)Each flower contains four stamens and a single style.

Hedge Woundwort (Stachys sylvatica)The bottom lip of the purple flower is marked with white.

Hedge Woundwort (Stachys sylvatica)Woundwort also has it’s own bug.

Woundwort ShieldbugThe Woundwort Shieldbug (Eysarcoris venustissimus) is usually found on Hedge Woundwort but occasionally on other Dead-nettles such as White Dead-nettle.

Woundwort ShieldbugIf you have Woundwort growing near you then it is well worth keeping an eye open for these attractive little bugs.

Woundwort ShieldbugWoundwort is pollinated by insects and it is a favourite of Bees. It also spreads from underground runners.

Hedge Woundwort (Stachys sylvatica)As the name suggests Woundwort has long been used in herbal medicine as a cure for almost anything. It is said to be particularly useful to stop bleeding and in the field a few leaves can be applied to a cut as a plaster, it is said to be effective.

Hedge Woundwort (Stachys sylvatica)Taxonomy

Kingdom: Plantae

Order: Lamiales

Family: Lamiaceae

Genus: Stachys

Species: Stachys sylvatica

Hedge Woundwort (Stachys sylvatica)Back to Purple Wildflowers

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