Information on White Dead-nettle

Common Name: White Dead-nettle
Scientific Name: Lamium album
Irish Name: Caochneantóg bhán
Family Group: Lamiaceae
Distribution: View Map (Courtesy of the BSBI)
Flowering Period


Click for list of all flowering by month
White Dead-nettle is not easily confused with other wild plants on this web site.


On downy, erect, square stalks, White Dead-nettle bears its white flowers in whorls.  These open-mouthed flowers (25-30mm long) have two lips, the hooded upper hairy, the lower toothed and sometimes streaked green.  Seen in close-up, the lips are edged with lovely fringeing.  The flowers emerge from the axils of the upper leaves and bloom from March to November.  The toothed leaves are opposite, heart-shaped and stalked and closely resemble those of the Common Nettle, the main difference being that they don't carry stinging hairs.  The plant, which grows to about 40cm high, has a faint aroma, is a perennial and has creeping underground stems.  It grows along roadsides, rivers and disturbed ground.  It is not a native plant and it belongs to the family Lamiaceae.  

I first identified this plant growing beside the River Slaney at Enniscorthy, Co Wexford in 2009 and photographed it at that time. 

If you are satisfied you have correctly identified this plant, please submit your sighting to the National Biodiversity Data Centre

Dead-nettle, White
Dead-nettle, White

When I first examined this flower I was amazed at how many little insects there were inside the flowers and this can be borne out by the photgraphs.  I didn't think it fair to shake the little things out! 

16th century herbalist, John Gerard wrote of White Dead-nettle that is was a plant  'to make the heart merry, to make a good colour in the face, and to refresh the vitall spirits'