Genus:
Lamium L.

Lamium album L.

The nectar at the base of the tube-like flowers of Lamium album is only accessible to long-tongued insects such as bumble bees and mason bees. Smaller insects are often not heavy enough to open the flowers. The nettle-shaped leaves of Lamium album do not sting and are eaten by slugs and snails.

[KSP]

Kew Species Profiles

General Description
The white dead-nettle has nettle shaped leaves that do not sting, and grows in woodlands and grasslands.

The nectar at the base of the tube-like flowers of Lamium album is only accessible to long-tongued insects such as bumble bees and mason bees. Smaller insects are often not heavy enough to open the flowers. The nettle-shaped leaves of Lamium album do not sting and are eaten by slugs and snails.

Lamium album got its common name 'deadnettle' because its leaves resemble those of the stinging nettle (Urtica dioica). Unlike the nettle, Lamium album does not have stinging hairs, and can be easily distinguished by its large white (or pink) flower (the flowers of Urtica dioica are tiny and greenish).

Flowers boiled in water can be used as a traditional herbal remedy for catarrh and dropsy, and the roots boiled in wine as a remedy for kidney stones. The plant is also used as a herbal treatment for leucorrhoea, benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH) and for gastrointestinal problems.

Species Profile
Geography and distribution

Lamium album is common in most of lowland Britain, except for the north and west of Scotland. It is also found in most of Europe, east Turkey, Iran and Iraq, east Russia and from China to Mongolia. It has been introduced into Iceland, North America and New Zealand.

Description

The white dead-nettle is a perennial and rhizomatous. The stems are square and often hairy. Leaves are petiolate, with ovate blades and the upper and lower surfaces are hairy. Nutlets are dull brown. Flowers are white or pink, flowering from March to December in Britain.

Threats and conservation

In the UK, Lamium album is widespread in a number of different habitats, including disturbed ground. There are currently no obvious threats to it.

Uses

Young leaves and flowers from Lamium album can be eaten raw. Young leaves can also be boiled and eaten as a vegetable.

There are several variegated forms which are grown as ornamental herbaceous perennials.

Millennium Seed Bank: Seed storage

Kew's Millennium Seed Bank Partnership aims to save plant life world wide, focusing on plants under threat and those of most use in the future. Seeds are dried, packaged and stored at a sub-zero temperature in our seed bank vault.

Number of seed collections stored in the Millennium Seed Bank:  Four

Seed storage behaviour: Orthodox (the seeds of this plant survive being dried without significantly reducing their viability, and are therefore amenable to long-term frozen storage such as at the MSB)

Germination testing: Successful

Distribution
Turkey, United Kingdom
Ecology
Woodland, wildflower grassland, waysides, rough ground and on various soils.
Conservation
Not threatened.
Hazards

None known.

[KSP]
Use
Food, herbal remedies.

Native to:

Afghanistan, Altay, Amur, Austria, Baltic States, Belarus, Belgium, Bulgaria, Buryatiya, Central European Rus, China North-Central, China South-Central, China Southeast, Chita, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, East European Russia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Inner Mongolia, Iran, Iraq, Irkutsk, Italy, Japan, Kamchatka, Kazakhstan, Khabarovsk, Kirgizstan, Korea, Krasnoyarsk, Krym, Kuril Is., Manchuria, Mongolia, Nepal, Netherlands, North Caucasus, North European Russi, Northwest European R, Norway, Pakistan, Poland, Primorye, Romania, Sakhalin, South European Russi, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Tadzhikistan, Transcaucasus, Turkey, Turkey-in-Europe, Turkmenistan, Tuva, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, West Himalaya, West Siberia, Xinjiang, Yakutskiya, Yugoslavia

Introduced into:

Alaska, Great Britain, Maine, Manitoba, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Brunswick, New Jersey, New York, New Zealand North, New Zealand South, Ohio, Ontario, Pennsylvania, Québec, Rhode I., Saskatchewan, Virginia

English
White dead-nettle

Lamium album L. appears in other Kew resources:

Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
Jul 1, 1987 s.coll. [s.n.] K000928167
Alm, C.G. [3007], Sweden K000509224
Cope, T.A. [RBG 143], United Kingdom K000914335

First published in Sp. Pl.: 579 (1753)

Accepted by

  • Charkevicz, S.S. (ed.) (1995). Plantae Vasculares Orientalis Extremi Sovietici 7: 1-394. Nauka, Leningrad.
  • Dimopoulos, P., Raus, T., Bergmeier, E., Constantinidis, T., Iatrou, G., Kokkini, S., Strid, A., & Tzanoudakis, D. (2013). Vascular plants of Greece. An annotated checklist: 1-372. Botanic gardens and botanical museum Berlin-Dahlem, Berlin and Hellenic botanical society, Athens.
  • Doronkin, V. & al. (2015). New records for the flora of Selenge province (Mongolia) Skvortsovia: International Journal of Salicology and Plant Biology 2: 8-27.
  • Govaerts, R. (2003). World Checklist of Selected Plant Families Database in ACCESS: 1-216203. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
  • Van Heurck, H. & De Beucker, J.I. (1861). Antwerpsche Analytische Flora 1: 1-192. Drukkerij der weduwe Jos. Van Ishoven, Antwerpen.

Literature

Kew Species Profiles

  • Bruton-Seal, J. & Seal, M. (2008). Hedgerow Medicine: Harvest and make your own herbal medecines. Merlin Unwin, Ludlow.
  • Hedrick, U.P. (ed.) (1919). Sturtevant’s Notes on Edible Plants. New York (State) Dept. of Agriculture, 27th Annual Report, Vol. 2 Part II. Lyon, Albany.
  • Huxley, A., Griffiths, M. & Levy, M. (eds) (1992). The New Royal Horticultural Society Dictionary of Gardening, 4 vols. Macmillan, London.
  • Mennema, J. (1989) A Taxonomic Revision of Lamium (Lamiaceae). Leiden Botanical Series, Volume 11.
  • Uphof, J.C. Th. (1959). Dictionary of Economic Plants. Engelmann, New York.
  • Usher, G. (1974). A Dictionary of Plants Used by Man. Constable, London.
  • Williamson, E.M. (2003). Potter’s Herbal Cyclopedia. C.W. Daniel, Saffron Walden.

Kew Backbone Distributions

  • (2020). https://bsbi.org/archaeophytes epublication.
  • Charkevicz, S.S. (ed.) (1995). Plantae Vasculares Orientalis Extremi Sovietici 7: 1-394. Nauka, Leningrad.
  • Malyschev, L.I. (ed.) (2006). Flora of Siberia 11: 1-310. Scientific Publishers, Inc., Enfield, Plymouth.
  • Webb, C.J., Sykes, W.R & Garnock-Jones, P.J. (1988). Flora of New Zealand 4: 1-1365. R.E.Owen, Government Printer, Wellington.

  • Herbarium Catalogue Specimens

    Digital Image © Board of Trustees, RBG Kew http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

  • Kew Backbone Distributions

    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2022. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
    © Copyright 2017 World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0

  • Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone

    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2022. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
    © Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0

  • Kew Science Photographs

    Digital Image © Board of Trustees, RBG Kew http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

  • Kew Species Profiles

    Kew Species Profiles
    http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0