Lamium purpureum L.

2686 (5). L. purpureum L., Sp. Pl., ed. I (1753) 579; Hayek, Prodr. Fl. Penins. Balc., II (1929) 276; Ball, Fl. Eur., III (1972) 148 — Червена мъртва коприва

Fam:   Labiatae Juss. (Lamiaceae)
Genus:   Lamium L.
Species: Lamium purpureum L.
English Name: Red dead-nettle, Purple dead-nettle, Red henbit, Purple archangel, or Velikdenche


Annual plant with unpleasant odor. Stem 10 - 30 (-40) cm high, upright or upward, usually from the base branched, fine moss to almost naked, often red violet colored; the internode under the first blossom vertebra strong prolonged, much longer than the others. Leaves 0.5 - 1 cm (the lower ones up to 2) cm long, ovate to round ovoid, 1 - 3 (-4) cm long and 1 - 2 (-3) cm wide, basically heart-shaped, dull dentate or  dull jagged, above mockers, below almost naked; the leaves at inflorescence with short stems, to the top smaller and often purple violet. Blossoms 1.5 - 2 cm long, with short stems or almost seated, most often 3 - 7 in dihases forming 6 - 10-blossom false vertebrae in the bosom of the upper leaves; vertebrates compressed, forming a pyramidal inflorescence. The bracts are very small, narrowly linear, often reddish. The calyx 5 - 7 mm long, trumpet bell-shaped, with rare hairs to almost naked; lanceolate teeth, as awl tapered, long as the tube, along the edge with  hairs, after a blossoming star-spreading. Corolla 10 - 18 (-20) mm long, pink red to purple red, less common white; the corolla tube straight, 7 - 12 mm long, longer than the calyx, at the base narrowed and at the top of the narrowing inside with a transverse ring of hairs, at the opening greatly enlarged; the upper lip is 4 - 6 mm long, whole, helmet, outside with whitish hairs, lower lip 3-part, side shares with one stiletto-shaped tooth, and the middle back ovoid, deep, 2-part with dark red spot spots. Anthers purple violet with long white airs. Walnuts oblong ovoid, 2 - 2.5 mm long, smooth, gray, triangular.


F. purpureum. Pinkish red rose to intense purple red. The teeth of the calyx long as the tube. Distributed.
F. niveum (Baumg.) Grinth., Fl. R-. P. Rom., VIII (1961) 178; L. purpureum var. niveum Baumg., Enum. Stirp. Transs. (1816) 167; L. purpureum var. albiflorum Schur, Sertum (1853) No 2242 a; L. purpureum f. albiflorum (Schur) Goir., Стоян., Стеф., Китан., Фл. Бълг., изд. 4, II (1967) 908. Corolla white. Distributed but relatively less often than typical.
F. longidens (Podp.) Hayek, 1. c.; L. purpureum var. longidens Podp., Verh. Zool.-Bot. Ges. Wien, LII (1902) 673; Стоян., Стеф., Китан., Фл. Бълг., изд. 1., II (1925) 941. Corolla red. The teeth of the calyx are twice as long as the tube. Thracian Lowland (Haskovo and Harmanli).

Business significance. A good honey plant giving plenty of nectar. Used in folk medicine for rashes and more.

From:  „Флора на Н Р България”, том IX, БАН, София, (1989).

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Lamium purpureum, known as red dead-nettle,[1] purple dead-nettle, red henbit, purple archangel,[2] or velikdenche, is a herbaceous flowering plant native to Europe and Asia.


Lamium purpureum grows with square stems to 5–20 cm [3](rarely 30 cm) in height. The leaves have fine hairs, are green at the bottom and shade to purplish at the top; they are 2–4 cm long and broad, with a 1–2 cm petiole (leaf stalk), and wavy to serrated margins.
The zygomorphic flowers are bright red-purple, with a top hood-like petal, two lower lip petal lobes and minute fang-like lobes between. The corolla shows a line of hairs near the base of the tube.[3] They may be produced throughout the year, including mild weather in winter. This allows bees to gather its nectar for food when few other nectar sources are available. It is also a prominent source of pollen for bees in March/April (in UK), when bees need the pollen as protein to build up their nest.
It is often found alongside Henbit Dead-nettle (Lamium amplexicaule), which is easily mistaken for it since they both have similar looking leaves and similar bright purple flowers; they can be distinguished by the stalked leaves of Red Dead-nettle on the flower stem, compared to the unstalked leaves of Henbit Dead-nettle.[3]
Though superficially similar to species of Urtica (true nettles) in appearance, it is not related and does not sting, hence the name "dead-nettle".
Young plants have edible tops and leaves, used in salads or in stir-fry as a spring vegetable. If finely chopped it can also be used in sauces.
Undyed, the pollen itself is a red colour and is very noticeable on the heads of bees that frequent its flowers.


Frequent in meadows, forest edges, roadsides and gardens.[3]


Common in the British Isles.[4]


The essential oil is characterized by its high contents of germacrene D.[5] The seed oil contains 16% of an acid characterized as (−)-octadeca-5,6-trans-16-trienoic acid (trivial name `lamenallenic acid'). Other unsaturated esters identified by their cleavage products are oleate, linoleate and linolenate.[6]
The plant contains phenylethanoid glycosides named lamiusides A, B, C, D and E.[7] It possesses a flavonol 3-O-glucoside-6″-O-malonyltransferase.[8]

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Flowering Time: Blooms: III - VIII.

References: „Флора на Н Р България”, том IX, БАН, София, (1989), Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Distribution in Bulgaria: Grow in grassy and turbulent places, and also as a weed in trenches, vegetables and orchards, less often in cereals, alfalfa and vetch. Widespread, mainly in the plains and foothills, but reaches up to 1200 m altitude. (Conspectus of the Bulgarian Vascular Flora) = conspectus&gs_l= Zlc.

Distribution: Europe, Southwest Asia and North Africa.

Conservation status and threats: not protected species in Bulgaria by the Biodiversity Law. - Biological Diversity Act -

Medical plant: yes, it is. - Medicinal Plants Act -

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