Saturday, 8 February 2014

Signs of spring - white dead-nettle

In flower now at Filnore.  Hurry, hurry, hurry!
 
 
Perhaps this is not so much a sign of spring as a sign that we are having a mild winter.  The flower books tell me that it normally flowers from May till December, or March till November, depending which book you read.  Either way it should not be blooming in January and February - but it is. 
 
The white deadnettle leaves look like stinging nettle leaves but they are quite stingless, hence the name deadnettle.  But once it produces its rings of white snapdragon-like flowers there is no mistaking it for a stinger.
 
   Stinging nettle flowers are clusters of long green catkins which appear in summer, June to August.


 
If you're not sure which plant is which you can always touch them and you'll soon know if it's a stinger.




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