Lamium, from laimos, throat; in allusion to the gaping corolla.
Biennial or winter annual. Naturalized from Europe. Found in cultivated grounds and waste places. Common. May-November.
Weak, slender, slightly hairy, ascending or decumbent, four-angled.
Orbicular; the lowest leaves small and long-petioled; the middle leaves larger, rounded, deeply cremate or cut; the upper ones clasping.
Two-lipped, purplish red, borne in whorled clusters in the axils of the leaves.
Bell-shaped, five-toothed, hairy.
Slender, tubular, two-lipped, dilated at the throat; upper lip ovate or oblong, arched, narrowed at base; lower lip three-lobed, spreading; the middle lobe broad, notched at the apex, contracted at the base; the lateral lobes small at the margin of the throat.
Four, inserted on the corolla tube, ascending under the upper lip; anthers in pairs, two-celled; cells diverging.
Four-parted, producing in fruit four small nutlets.
The Dead-Nettles are low, spreading herbs appearing in gardens, on waste heaps, and in neglected yards. As a whole, the stems rest on the ground but the tips ascend and sometimes short stems are upright. Four species lurk about our cultivated grounds with flowers very much alike; the specific differences resting largely upon the leaves and the color of the flowers. Lamium amplexicaule has its upper leaves either sessile or clasping, while only the lower ones are petioled. The other species have petioled leaves, but all are orbicular and all crenate. The Red Dead-Nettie, Lamium purpureum, has purple-red flowers very like those of L. amplexicaule, but its leaves are petioled; the Spotted Dead-Nettie has blotched leaves and rather larger flowers; the White Dead-Nettie has white flowers. There are other minor differences among the four, but these are sufficient to distinguish them. All bloom in early spring and continue to bloom into October, sometimes later. All are immigrants; L. maculatum has escaped from gardens, the others are free-lances who came as they could and live as they must. They are not unattractive little weeds and often comfort the waste places, appearing frequently in vegetable-gardens where a crop has been harvested and the land neglected. Among them are one annual, one biennial, and two perennials.
Dead-Nettie. Lamium amplexicaule