Red Dead-nettle

©Amy Lewis

Red dead-nettle

Scientific name: Lamium purpureum
Despite the family it's from, Red dead-nettle does not sting. It displays dense clusters of pinky-red flowers in whorls around its stem, and can be found on disturbed ground, such as roadside verges.

Species information

Statistics

Height: up to 30cm

Conservation status

Common.

When to see

March to October

About

Red dead-nettle is a common plant of roadside verges, waste grounds and field edges - anywhere the ground has been disturbed or cultivated. Like Yellow archangel, and other members of the dead-nettle family, it doesn't have stinging leaves. Its crimson flowers appear from March to October.

How to identify

Looking similar to a Stinging nettle, Red dead-nettle is a downy annual with heart-shaped, toothed leaves, and reddish, square stems. Dense whorls of pinky-red, 'hooded' flowers appear up the stem.

Distribution

Widespread.

Did you know?

Lots of different species of long-tongued insects visit the flowers of Red dead-nettle, including the Red mason bee and bumblebees. The caterpillars of Garden tiger, White ermine and Angle shades moths feed on the leaves.

How people can help

Although they might not look especially wildlife-friendly, our roadside verges, railway cuttings and waste grounds can provide valuable habitats for all kinds of plants and animals. The Wildlife Trusts are involved in many projects to make these places as beneficial for wildlife as possible. We have a vision of a Living Landscape: a network of habitats stretching across town and country that allow wildlife to move about freely and people to enjoy the benefits of nature. Support this greener vision for the future by joining your local Wildlife Trust.