Dead Nettle Purple flowers

I often wonder about the hardiness of weeds and how some can thrive so easily in my garden, even in winter. As I work the raised beds this time of year, I try not to focus too much on the bigger task ahead of me – weeding the rows of invasive ground covers, like the one, above.

From what I’ve read, Purple Dead Nettles (Lamium purpureum) thrives in fertile soil that has been worked. It’s a herbaceous flowering plant that is native to Europe and Asia, but one look at my garden rows, above, and you’d think I had cultivated it for years. The more I read about the plant, the more intrigued I became.

Purple Dead Nettles is no relation to its stinging namesake, nettles, which is where the “dead” comes in. Anyone who has wandered into a patch of mature stinging nettles will know what that means!

Purple Dead Nettles is a member of the mint family, which is easy to determine by its square stalk. It’s also edible, and the leaves and flowers can be used in salads, stir-fry or pesto. Stinging nettles are also good to eat, but you want to pick them when they are young and tender. oth rich in vitamins, minerals and iron, and high in antioxidants.

As there was plenty of wild garlic growing among the dead nettles, I took it as a sign that fresh wild pesto would be perfect for a pasta primavera for dinner.

Dandelion greens were also bountiful in the garden and along the fence, the cooler weather keeping the flowers at bay, making them perfect for salads. Pasta and salad were on the menu!

I had a nice bunch of asparagus in the fridge that needed to be used and there is always a bag of frozen peas on hand – a perfect combo for the pesto pasta. My asparagus bed, planted two years ago, is starting to produce, as you can see in the photo, above. I’ll be able to harvest some this season, at least for a few weeks. ench and feeding it with compost and manure before planting the crowns.

One thing to note before you make anything using wild greens and plants – be sure of what you are picking before eating! I have worn, tattered copies of the field guides that have been lovingly used throughout the years. Get a copy or go to a reputable website, preferably one that is a .org or .edu. Once you’ve determined what is edible, make sure to pick plants that have not been treated with pesticides and avoid those that grow along roadsides, which are often treated with chemicals in winter.

So back to the lovely, but invasive, Purple Dead Nettle. Now is the time to pick it, when the plants are young and tender. I used about 2 cups for a batch of pesto, along with about six bulbs of wild garlic. It produced what I would best describe as a “grassy”-tasting pesto, fresh and flavorful, especially after it sat for a while in the fridge. It was especially good topped with a hefty dose of freshly grated Parmesan.

Makes 4 hearty servings

For the pesto:

  1. Approximately 2 cups of freshly picked Purple Dead Nettles (leaves and flower tops)
  2. 6 small bulbs of wild garlic
  3. 1/4 cup toasted walnuts
  4. Salt, freshly ground pepper, to taste
  5. 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Grimm's Gardens Dead Nettle Purple Dragon: Well Established: Container Size: 4.5" pot
Lawn & Patio (Grimm's Gardens)
  • Lamium maculatum Purple Dragon
  • Full to Part Shade
  • Height: 4-8
  • Spread: 12-24
  • Zone: 4 to 9

Many phases of propagation

2009-07-01 10:34:10 by AnitaMoPlants

You were correct in eliminating some of the leaf surface and making a shallow wound in the base of the stem.
For soft wood stem cuttings one usually makes a clean cut just below a node in the stem and then a one inch sliced wound .
You may not have lost the plant. Roots may form this autumn.
The leaves may have fallen from drying out or perhaps a fungus formed in the soil
With evergreen leaf cuttings I sometimes will put plastic over the cuttings to keep the humidity up .
Environmental control such as stress, too much water, not enough light or a soil fungus appearance are all plausible reasons for the leaf drop

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Purple Dead Nettle with Bumble
Purple Dead Nettle with Bumble

DALY: Use care when planting around septic drainfields  —
Shallow rooted annual and perennial herbaceous plants can be planted closer to the drain fields since they do not have invasive roots. Turfgrass can be grown over the drain field and is beneficial since it helps hold the soil in place.

Frederick Warne & Co. Wayside Woodland & Blossoms (III Volumes)
Book (Frederick Warne & Co.)
Ardea Wildlife Pets Photographic Print of JLMO-3323 Red Dead Nettle - flowers from Ardea Wildlife Pets
Home (Ardea Wildlife Pets)
  • PHOTOGRAPHIC PRINT This 30 x20 Print features an image of JLMO-3323 Red Dead Nettle - flowers chosen by Ardea Wildlife Pets. Estimated image size 762x508mm.
  • High quality RA4 prints. Printed on Kodak Endura and Edge papers. Size refers to paper used
  • Image Description JLMO-3323 Red Dead Nettle - flowers JLMO-3323 Red Dead Nettle - flowers Lamium purpureum John Mason Please note that prints are for personal display...
  • For any queries regarding this image of JLMO-3323 Red Dead Nettle - flowers please contact Ardea Wildlife Pets quoting Reference 3742952
  • Image of JLMO-3323 Red Dead Nettle - flowers is supplied by Ardea Wildlife Pets. (c) John Mason/ardea

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