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.
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.
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.
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.
Each flower contains four stamens and a single style.
The bottom lip of the purple flower is marked with white.
Woundwort also has it’s own bug.
The Woundwort Shieldbug (Eysarcoris venustissimus) is usually found on Hedge Woundwort but occasionally on other Dead-nettles such as White Dead-nettle.
If you have Woundwort growing near you then it is well worth keeping an eye open for these attractive little bugs.
Woundwort is pollinated by insects and it is a favourite of Bees. It also spreads from underground runners.
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.
Species: Stachys sylvatica
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