What is White Deadnettle and How Do You Use It?

Blind, Dumbor Bee Nettle, White Archangel

FR: Lamier, Ortie

GER: Taubnessel

IT: Lamio, Ortica bianca

SP: Ortiga muerta roja

BOT: Lamium album

FAM: Labiatae

ILL: Plate 13, No. 4

Purple Deadnettle FR: Lamier rouge, Ortie rouge GER: Rote Taubnessel IT: Lamio purpureo SP: Ortiga muerta roja BOT: Lamium purpureum

This is an exceedingly common hedgerow and wasteland plant in continental Europe and Britain, except in Ireland and northern Scotland. Like the other deadnettles, it looks rather like a nettle at a casual glance, but it does not sting and does not belong to the nettle family. It has white flowers and the same square stem as many labiates.

What is White Deadnettle and How Do You Use It? Photo Gallery




The white deadnettle has very little of the strong aromatic quality associated with this family, but it is edible and is used in soups or as a vegetable (although it is not eaten by cattle). It is said to be sometimes cultivated in France, but is such a common weed that cultivation seems scarcely necessary.

It is mentioned in Madame Prunier’s Fish Cookery as an ingredient in eel recipes (Anguille a la flamande), though one learns from her that her chef usually substitutes mint and sorrel.

Linnaeus, the great Swedish naturalist, recorded that a close relative and, if possible, even more common garden weed, the purple or red deadnettle was boiled and eaten as a vegetable in his country.

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