This section is from the book "A Manual Of Weeds", by Ada E. Georgia. Also available from Amazon: A Manual Of Weeds.
Native. Perennial. Propagates by seeds.
Time of bloom: June to September.
Seed-time: August to November.
Range: Newfoundland to the Northwest Territory, southward to New York, Michigan, and Illinois; in the Rocky Mountains to New Mexico. Also native to Europe and Asia.
Habitat: Damp grasslands and borders of streams.
A coarse weed, the stem one to four feet tall, stout, erect, square, the angles bristling with stiff, downward-pointing hairs. Because of its prickly hairiness and unpleasant taste cattle refuse to eat the plant either green or cured in hay. Leaves thick, oblong to lance-shaped, rounded or heart-shaped at the base, rough-hairy, coarsely saw-toothed, sessile or with very short petioles. Flowers in terminal interrupted spikes, in whorls of six to ten with small leafy bracts below; calyx bristly-hairy, its awllike teeth more than half as long as the tube of the corolla, which is more than a half-inch in length, the lips pink or pale purple, spotted with deeper purple; the upper lip concave and bearded outside, the unequal stamens ascending against it, the lower lip three-lobed and spreading. Seeds small, ovoid nutlets. (Fig. 248.)
Fig. 248. -Hedge Nettle (Stachys palustris). X 1/4.
Drainage of the ground; prevention of seed development by close cutting early in the season. Cultivation of the soil at once destroys the perennial roots.