RED DEAD-NETTLE

Lamium purpureum

Mint / Dead-Nettle Family [Lamiaceae]  

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status
statusZarchaeophyte
flower
flower8lilac flower8pink
inner
inner8purple
inner
inner8red
morph
morph8zygo
petals
petalsZ2
stem
stem8square
stem
stem8hollow

23rd May 2016, Wellbeck, Derbyshire. Photo: © RWD


17th April 2015, River Dee, Chester, Cheshire. Photo: © RWD
They grow quite tall and have square (and hollow) stems with leaves in opposite pairs and flowers in sparse whorls just below each leaf-pair.


16th April 2008, Grassy fields, near Beeston Castle, Cheshire Photo: © RWD
Grows up to 40cm, usually much lower, erect or sprawling.


16th April 2008, Grassy fields, near Beeston Castle, Cheshire Photo: © RWD
Leaves green at first but turning reddish/purplish-brown, particularly on those near the top of the plant.


16th April 2008, Grassy fields, near Beeston Castle, Cheshire Photo: © RWD


3rd May 2006, Lathkilldale, Derbyshire Photo: © RWD
Leaves in opposite pairs, in quadrature, up the square stem. Leaves heart-shaped with short bluntish teeth.


28th March 2007, St Helens Canal, Lancashire Photo: © RWD
Flowers pink/red with darker blotches and a paler whitish-pink wash.


28th March 2007, St Helens Canal, Lancashire Photo: © RWD
The flowers emerge from a long almost-parallel tube. The hood is narrow but tall whilst the lower lip is in two wings. The wings are cupped together as if 'arms' clapping with the 'hands' splayed outwards right at the end. The hands have a central darker-mauve blotch.


16th April 2008, Grassy fields, near Beeston Castle, Cheshire Photo: © RWD
Leaves have short hairs. Flower has a pair of extended lobes on the lower petal.


23rd May 2016, Wellbeck, Derbyshire. Photo: © RWD
Four white stamens are channelled from bottom to top terminating in brown anthers. The fifth central one is the style with orange stigma atop.


23rd May 2016, Wellbeck, Derbyshire. Photo: © RWD
Anthers and parts of petals, especially the outer part of the hood has longish white hairs.


23rd May 2016, Wellbeck, Derbyshire. Photo: © RWD
The anthers are hairy.




3rd May 2006, Lathkilldale, Derbyshire Photo: © RWD
Teeth <2mm long.


23rd May 2016, Wellbeck, Derbyshire. Photo: © RWD
Square hollow stem.


21st May 2012, waste land by the sea, Southport. Photo: © RWD
Your Author knows not why these specimens are so anaemic, being pink to orange. Perhaps they have been sprayed with a weedkiller, or maybe it is some genetic defect causing a lack of chlorophyll, but either way, their life seems limited without being able to photosynthesize.


21st May 2012, waste land by the sea, Southport. Photo: © RWD
Your Author thought these were some unusual species until he recognised them as Red Dead-nettles, without any green colouring (and also without flowers).


Easily confused with: Cut-Leaved Dead-Nettle (Lamium hybridum) but that has leaves which have slightly deeper (but uneven) cuts between the teeth, with many teeth >2mm long, some cuts quite deep and with the top-most leaves with teeth that are more pointed rather than crenate. Northern Dead-nettle (Lamium confertum) which is also pinkish-red, has much longer sepal teeth which curve outwards.

Many similarities to Hemp-nettles, such as Red Hemp-Nettle (Galeopsis angustifolia), but Hemp-nettles have stems that are slightly swollen just below the leaf nodes. The flowers also differ in that they are not cupped together and the lower lip has 3 lobes.

Distinguishing Feature : Reddened leaves especially near the top of stem. The flowers over-top the leaves, unlike in White Dead-Nettle where it is the other way around. Also, unlike White Dead-nettle, Red Dead-nettle is an annual to perennial but lacks the underground rhizomes of White Dead-Nettle. Teeth mostly bluntish and rounded (crenate to crenate-dentate).

Red Dead-nettle contains a series of PhenylEthanoid Glycosides, Lamioside A to Lamioside E which are similar to the PhenylEthanoid Glycosides contained in Betony (Betonica officinalis) (being Betonyoside A to F).


  Lamium purpureum  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Lamiaceae  

Distribution
family8mint family8dead-nettle family8Labiatea family8Lamiaceae

 BSBI maps
genus8lamium
Lamium
(Dead-nettles)

RED DEAD-NETTLE

Lamium purpureum

Mint / Dead-Nettle Family [Lamiaceae]  

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