Red Dead Nettle weed

Red Dead-Nettle Red Dead-Nettle; Lamium purpureum L. Mint Family; LABIATÆ (LAMIACEÆ) Red Dead-Nettle is a naturalized, weedy, mint-like annual herb with hollow square stems, and softly hairy leaves in opposite pairs. The plant's upper portion is tinted purplish. Little pink-purple flowers from 1/3 to 2/3 inches long cluster tightly at the ends of the stems. The seedlings usually begin life in autumn or winter, then commence flowering early in spring. As soon as the seeds ripen the plants dry up and perish. While young, and in particular when a colony is in full bloom, it is beautiful: a soft pink-purple carpet. But being weak, it's easily mangled and unfortunately grows ugly by summertime, especially when infected with powdery mildew. Neither a serious pest nor notably useful, this Dead-Nettle is merely a weed. Yet several of its perennial cousins are exquisite ornamentals and adequate salad plants: their virtue consists in being colorful, shade-tolerant, fast-growing groundcovers. Lamium maculatum is one such delightful species, its leaves deep green streaked vivid white. The names Dead-Nettle, Dumb-Nettle, Deaf-Nettle and Blind-Nettle, refer to the foliage resemblance between stinging, burning, itching nettles (Urtica spp.) and these harmless mimics. Archangel is another name, of puzzling pertinence. Red Dead-nettle is also specifically called Red Archangel, or Purple Dead-Nettle, or Red Henbit. Henbit proper, a very similar weed (Lamium amplexicaule L.) grows wild, too, but is less common in most areas. Its leaves are shorter and more nicked in the edges. Dead-Nettles are fuzzy with hairs, and blandly flavored, but their stem tips and flowers are edible, raw or cooked. Their unusual mildly sweet taste and chewy texture serve as striking contrast to the regular salad fare of crisp, watery ingredients. John Gerard wrote of them nearly 400 years ago: "The floures are baked with sugar as Roses are, which is called Sugar roset: as also the distilled water of them, which is used to make the heart merry, to make a good colour in the face, and to refresh the vitall spirits." So next time you see Dead-Nettles alive in your garden, remember that these humble European weeds, if not to your liking, are at least better than many weeds that might be growing in their stead. With their shallow roots, and short lifespan, their grip on life is anything but tenacious, you can easily control them.

"Onto better topics"

2007-04-30 09:27:02 by potpourri

Yeah, too many examples and pissy things go on that were bad enough at the time, so am not in the mood to rehash this Monday morning!
Yeah plants are always better the second time around. I'm surprised you didn't get more from the chamomile. It's an annual that self seeds like crazy. I only brought one with me to the new place from the apartment, because I know this time next year, there'll be a colony of cham seedlings around this one parent. I kept some of mostly everything in pots so they were easy to move. But some things I had to unearth and repot, and a few really didn't like it, like motherwort, because they were in full bloom when I did it

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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.

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