Lamium album, The White Dead-nettle

White Dead-nettle (Lamium album)Description: It looks like a stinging nettle with white flowers.

That is a reasonable description, it does look like a stinging nettle but the two plants are not related. Urtica dioica, the Stinging Nettle is a member of the Urticaceae or Nettle Family and White Dead-nettle is a member of the Mint family.

Unlike the Nettle family the Dead-nettles don’t  have a sting.

You can’t really confuse the two plants, the flowers are the give away and they start to form almost as soon as the plant appears.

White Dead-nettle (Lamium album)(White Dead-nettle in February)

Like other Dead-nettles Lamium album has a square stem.

White Dead-nettle (Lamium album)The leaves grow in opposite pairs.

White Dead-nettle (Lamium album)

White Dead-nettle (Lamium album)The leaves are described as cordate (heart shaped) to ovate (oval with a tapering point). They are deeply veined with a net pattern and the edges are toothed. They are also covered in soft hair on both sides.

White Dead-nettle (Lamium album)The flowers grow in whorls around the stem and above a pair of leaves.

White Dead-nettle (Lamium album)The flower is tubular, opening up to a hood and a three lobed lower lip.

White Dead-nettle (Lamium album)Under the hood are four Stamens, two long and two short and just below the anthers you can see the white style with a two lobed stigma.

White Dead-nettle (Lamium album)The White Dead-nettle is described as having a three lobed lower lip, It has a large central lobe, the two outside lobes are the very small tooth like projections either side of the central lobe in this next picture. They are fairly insignificant.

White Dead-nettle (Lamium album)The white flower has small green markings at the centre of the  bottom lip.

White Dead-nettle (Lamium album)Newly emerging flower buds are protected by a five pointed calyx.

White Dead-nettle (Lamium album)White Dead-nettle is native to the UK, Europe and Asia and naturalised in many other parts of the world.

It is a valuable wild life plant providing a good source of nectar early in the year. It is very popular with bees and is sometimes known as the Bee Nettle. It is the food plant for a number of beetles and moths, including the Golden-Y Moth, the Rivulet, the Burnished Brass and the Speckled Yellow.

Speckled Yellow Moth(Speckled Yellow moth)

White Dead-nettle (Lamium album) White Dead-nettle (Lamium album)   White Dead-nettle (Lamium album)   White Dead-nettle (Lamium album)White Dead-nettle is edible. Only the youngest leaves are good to eat raw in salads. Once it starts to flower leaves can be steamed or added to soups and stews.

White Dead-nettle (Lamium album)Taxonomy

Kingdom: Plantae

Order: Lamiales

Family: Lamiaceae

Genus: Lamium

Species: Lamium album

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