Stachys tenuifolia Willd. - Smooth Hedge Nettle
Family - Lamiaceae
Stems - To +1.2m tall, 4-angled, herbaceous, hollow, branching above, erect, retrorse strigose on angles, glabrous between angles, from rhizomes.
Leaves - Opposite, decussate, petiolate. Petiole to -3cm long, winged, glabrous or with sparse pubescence at base. wing to -1mm broad. Blade lanceolate to lance-oblong, to +13cm long, 4cm broad, crenate-serrate, acuminate, glabrous but with a scabrous midrib.
Inflorescence - Terminal spikiform arrangement of verticillasters. Verticillasters with +/-6 flowers, subtended by small foliaceous bracts. Flowers sessile to subsessile.
Flowers - Corolla bilabiate,
pinkish with purple streaks and spots internally. Corolla tube to 7mm long,
glabrous, white near base. Upper lip of corolla 5mm long, 4mm broad, glandular
pubescent externally, glabrous internally, obtuse at apex. Lower corolla
lip 3-lobed, glabrous internally and externally. Lateral lobes -2mm long.
Central lobe 3mm long, 3.5mm broad. Stamens 4, didynamous, adnate at apex
of corolla tube, exserted from upper lip of corolla. Filaments to 3mm long,
glandular pubescent, white. Anthers brownish-purple, 1.2mm long. Style
white to purple at apex, 1.1cm long, glabrous. Stigma 2-lobed. Ovary of
4 nutlets. Nutlets greenish-white, 3-ribbed, becoming black and 1.7mm long
Calices, corollas removed.
Flowering - June - September.
Habitat - Moist and low woodland, ravines, streambanks, pond margins, swamps, wet meadows.
Origin - Native to U.S.
Other info. - Stachys tenuifolia
and the similar S. palustris L. would make
excellent garden subjects for anyone with a shade garden and moist to wet
ground. The flowers are good for attracting flying insects and are striking
to look at.
Photographs taken in the Irish Wilderness, Mark Twain National Forest, Oregon County, MO., 7-15-00.