White dead nettle

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White dead nettle
White dead nettle (Lamium album)

White dead nettle ( Lamium album )

Euasterids I
Order : Mint family (Lamiales)
Family : Mint family (Lamiaceae)
Subfamily : Lamioideae
Genre : Dead nettles ( Lamium )
Type : White dead nettle
Scientific name
Lamium album

The white dead nettle ( Lamium album ) is a species of plant that belongs to the mint family (Lamiaceae). In contrast to the nettle, it has no stinging hair and is not directly related to it. However, the similarity of the leaf shape to the nettle has brought the genus the German part of the name "nettle".


Illustration after storm
Section of the inflorescence, the square stem is clearly visible
Lamium album hair ring in the corolla tube
Pollen of a white dead nettle (400 ×)
Lamium album subsp. barbatum

Vegetative characteristics

The white dead nettle is a perennial herbaceous plant that reaches heights of 20 to 70 centimeters. The stem is square. The cross-opposite leaves on the stem are divided into a petiole and a leaf blade. The leaf blade is simple.

Generative characteristics

The flowering period extends from April to October. The flowers stand together in pseudo whorls.

The hermaphrodite flowers are zygomorphic and five-fold with a double flower envelope . The white corolla is two-lipped, the upper lip is hairy. The pollen is light yellow.

The number of chromosomes is 2n = 18.


The white deadnettle is a hardy hemicryptophyte . The plant specimens are only capable of flowering from the second or third year. Their runners overwinter mostly green and form flower sprouts in the following year.

Just like the red dead nettle , the spotted dead nettle and the golden nettle , the white dead nettle is also an important nectar and pollen plant for honey bees . Most of the pollination is done by bumblebees , which thanks to their long proboscis can better reach the deep-lying nectar of the flower. As with all labiates, the lower corolla is an ideal approach point for pollinating insects. In the corolla tube you can see a hair ring that protects the nectar.

From an ecological point of view, it was nectar-bearing, homogamous lip flowers. The white dead nettle is pollinated by bees and bumblebees . The white dead nettle contains saponins and mucilage .


The white dead nettle is common in temperate areas throughout Europe and North Asia . In numerous other countries such as North America or New Zealand it is a neophyte .

The white dead nettle grows on the edge of paths and meadows as well as in ditches, hedges and rubble areas. It particularly thrives on nitrogen-rich soils .

According to Ellenberg , the white dead nettle is a half-light plant, a sign of freshness, growing in excessively nitrogen-rich locations and is a federation character of the burdock corridors (Arction lappae) in Central Europe. But it also occurs in societies of the Galio-Urticenea subclass.

In the Allgäu Alps, the white dead nettle rises in the Tyrolean part of the Upper High Alps below the Hohe Licht up to an altitude of 1932 meters.

The white dead nettle is a ruderal plant, archaeophyte and culture follower . The white dead nettle is very active in spreading. It benefits from the eutrophication of the landscape through fertilization and pollution with organic materials.

Use as food and in folk medicine

As an expectorant ( expectorant ) in diseases of the respiratory tract - i.e. expectorant - and against flatulence. Skin swellings, bumps, varicose veins and gout nodules are treated with compresses of the boiled plant . The dead nettle has a weak diuretic effect. An anti-inflammatory (anti-inflammatory) effect has been proven by means of animal experiments. This effect is mainly used against inflammation of the lining of the mouth and throat.

The main active ingredients are iridoid glycosides , mainly lamalbide, in addition to caryoptoside and the albosides A + B.

In the past, the young plant parts of the white dead nettle were eaten as a vegetable.

The flowers of the white dead nettle are a very good pasture for bees ; one hectare of dead nettles can produce up to 190 kg of honey per vegetation period.


The white dead nettle contains tannins and mucilage as well as choline , saponins and, in small quantities, essential oils . Iridoids and other terpenes are found in the flowers .


The first publication of Lamium album was made in 1753 by Carl Linnaeus in Species Plantarum , Volume 2, page 579. A homonym is Lamium album Desf. , published in René Louiche Desfontaines : Flora Atlantica , 2, 1798, p. 18. Synonyms for Lamium album L. are Lamium dumeticola Klokov and Lamium petiolatum Royle ex Benth.

Some authors differentiate between the following subspecies (as of 2003):

  • Lamium album L. subsp. album : It originally occurs from Europe to China and Mongolia. In North America and New Zealand it is a neophyte.
  • Lamium album subsp. barbatum (Siebold & Zucc.) Mennema (Syn .: Lamium barbatum Siebold & Zucc. , Lamium album var. barbatum (Siebold & Zucc.) Franch. & Sav. ): It occurs from Far Eastern Russia to Japan, China and Korea. The number of chromosomes is 2n = 18.
  • Lamium album subsp. crinitum (Montbret & Aucher ex Benth.) Mennema (Syn .: Lamium crinitum Montbret & Aucher ex Benth. ): It occurs from Turkey to the Himalayas.

Web links

Commons : White Dead Nettle ( Lamium album )  - Album with pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. a b Erich Oberdorfer : Plant-sociological excursion flora for Germany and neighboring areas. 8th edition. Stuttgart, Verlag Eugen Ulmer, 2001, ISBN 3-8001-3476-4 , page 803.
  2. ^ A b Siegmund Seybold (Ed.): Schmeil-Fitschen interactive . CD-ROM, version 1.1. Quelle & Meyer, Wiebelsheim 2002, ISBN 3-494-01327-6 . (Section ecology)
  3. a b Ruprecht Düll , Herfried Kutzelnigg : Pocket dictionary of plants in Germany. A botanical-ecological excursion companion to the most important species . 6th, completely revised edition. Quelle & Meyer, Wiebelsheim 2005, ISBN 3-494-01397-7 . (Section ecology)
  4. a b Wilfried Stichmann, Ursula Stichmann-Marny: The new cosmos plant guide . Kosmos, Stuttgart 1999, ISBN 3-440-07364-5 . (Section ecology)
  5. ^ A b Margot Spohn, Marianne Golte-Bechtle: What is blooming there? The encyclopedia: over 1000 flowering plants from Central Europe. Kosmos, Stuttgart 2005, ISBN 3-440-10326-9 (section ecology).
  6. a b c d e f Rafaël Govaerts, 2003: World Checklist of Selected Plant Families Database in ACCESS: 1-216203. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Rafaël Govaerts (Ed.): Lamium album. In: World Checklist of Selected Plant Families (WCSP) - The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew . Retrieved April 26, 2020.
  7. Heinz Ellenberg : Vegetation of Central Europe with the Alps in an ecological, dynamic and historical perspective (=  UTB for science. Large series . Volume  8104 ). 5th, heavily changed and improved edition. Eugen Ulmer, Stuttgart (Hohenheim) 1996, ISBN 3-8252-8104-3 .
  8. Erhard Dörr, Wolfgang Lippert : Flora of the Allgäu and its surroundings. Volume 2, IHW, Eching 2004, ISBN 3-930167-61-1 , p. 396.
  9. Enoch Zander, Albert Koch (starter), Josef Lipp: Handbuch der Bienenkunde - Der Honig. 3., rework. Ed., Eugen Ulmer, Stuttgart 1994, ISBN 3-8001-7417-0 , p. 38.
  10. Lamium album at Plants For A Future . Retrieved April 26, 2020.
  11. Rainer Ahlborn: Lamalbid, a new iridoid and other terpenes from the flowers of Lamium album L. University of Würzburg , 1974.
  12. First publication scanned in at biodiversitylibrary .
  13. Lamium album at Tropicos.org. Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis
  14. Lamium album var. Barbatum at Tropicos.org. In: IPCN Chromosome Reports . Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis