Sunday, April 4, 2010

Purple Deadnettle (Lamium purpureum)

Two Lamium species – L. amplexicaule (Henbit) and L. purpureum (Purple Deadnettle) - grow in this area. The major differences, for identification purposes, are the color and shape of the leaves. Both species have lobed, opposite leaves. L. amplexicaule leaves are green, round and not stalked whereas L. purpureum leaves are a purplish green, pointed and stalked. L. amplexicaule flowers look more open with a single pair of leaves separated by more a length of stalk. The leaves and flowers of L. purpureum are clustered at the top of the stalk. In this area (North Georgia), L. purpureum flowers are generally a paler pink than L. amplexicaule flowers. From a distance, L. amplexicaule plants have a distinctly pink/purple color. L. purpureum plants look grayish at a distance with a very slight pink/purple tint due to the tight clustering of the purplish-tinged leaves and the paler flowers.

From a distance, stands of Purple Deadnettle do not look particularly attractive. The combination of purplish-green leaves gives the plants a gray appearance that doesn’t invite closer inspection.

Closer examination shows the plants with pointed leaves, off-green-colored leaves and pale pink flowers. The leaves are clustered together tightly.

An even closer examination shows the purplish tint on the leaves.

Close-up photos of the leaves. These leaves have a distinct reddish tint. Another common name for this plant is Red Deadnettle

The flower. full-face, showing the pattern on the ‘tongue’, and in profile

L. purpureum
is native to Europe, Asia, and Africa and grows in many states the United States and Canada. L. purpureum grows in Walton County and at Fort Yargo State Park/Barrow County but does not grow at our place.

Click on an image to view a larger image

Distribution Map:

- United States Department of Agriculture Plants Database: Lamium purpureum (Purple Deadnettle)

Identification resources:

- Southeastern Flora: Purple Deadnettle (Lamium purpureum)

- Shedi de botanica:
Lamium purpureum (Purple Deadnettle)

Related Posts:

- 2010: Year Of The Wildflower

- Henbit (Lamium amplexicaule)

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