White dead-nettle Lamium album

Status Green - Least concern
Best Time to See May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December
Colour
Habitat Woodland, Arable, Farmland

The pretty white flowers appear in round clusters amongst the leaves and look like an Elizabethan neck ruff. They are not pure white, but faintly suffused with green.

The leaves and flowers appear at intervals along the length of the stem in an orderly fashion. The clusters have two leaves on opposing sides of the square stem and provide a backdrop of green for the white flowers.

The lip of the flower provides a landing stage for bees and other insects that pollinate the flowers. The leaves are heart shaped, pointed and have toothed edges, and as the name suggests, this nettle doesn't sting.

Distribution

Widespread throughout Britain, apart from in the far north.

Habitat

Likes semi-shade and can be found in light woodland areas or on hedge banks, roadsides and wasteland.

Best time to see

Flowers throughout the warmer months from March to November.

Did you know?

Most country children are aware that a small drop of nectar can be sucked from the base of each flower. Boys often play another game with the plant, picking the flowers off dead nettles and chasing girls pretending they are real stinging nettles.

Local names include White archangel, Helmet-flower and Adam-and-eve-in-the-bower. The latter is because you can turn the plant upside-down and beneath the white upper lid of the corolla black and gold stamens lie side by side like two human figures, Adam and Eve.

A bunch of white dead-nettles can look good in a vase, especially after cutting some of the leaves to reveal the flowers.

The flowers and young leaves are edible, and can be used in salads or cooked as a vegetable. Medicinally, white dead nettle is an astringent and demulcent herb that is mainly used as a uterine tonic, to reduce excessive menstrual flow and to arrest inter-menstrual bleeding.