Taxonomy of Spotted Dead Nettles:
classifies spotted dead nettles (or "deadnettle") as Lamium maculatum
. The cultivar
shown in the picture is 'Purple Dragon'; below, I discuss another, named 'White Nancy.'
Characteristics of Spotted Dead Nettles:
'White Nancy' stays relatively short -- often less than a foot tall -- but its attractive variegated
foliage spreads out to three times its height. 'White Nancy' has white blooms, but other cultivars offer blooms with different colors. Spotted dead nettles are generally grown for their silver leaves
, however, not their flowers. They are deer-resistant and slightly invasive
Sun and Soil Requirements for Spotted Dead Nettles:
Plant spotted dead nettles in partial to full shade and in acidic
, well-drained soil. Good choice for dry shade.
Planting Zones for Spotted Dead Nettles:
Uses for Spotted Dead Nettles in Landscape Design:
Spotted dead nettles are popular ground covers for shady areas. They are especially helpful for shady areas that have dry soil and/or where deer control
is an issue. The silvery foliage of these shade plants
makes them a good fit for landscape designs with creative color schemes. For color-scheme ideas, please see my gallery of flower photos
Medicinal Uses for Spotted Dead Nettles:
According to Botanical.com, dead nettles have been used as a vulnerary, that is, an herb for staunching wounds. Yarrow plants
have a similar usage history.
Don't Confuse Deadnettle With Stinging Nettles:
Deadnettle plants are flowering perennials. By contrast, stinging nettles
are noxious weeds (albeit edible).
Origin of the Name "Dead Nettles":
According to Monrovia Nursery, the unusual common name "dead nettle" alludes to the fact that, while it resembles stinging nettles, "the stingers are dead" on Lamium maculatum, rendering it harmless.