A global community of nature enthusiasts
photographing and learning about wildlife
The red deadnettle (also called purple deadnettle, purple archangel, or velikdenche) is a flowering plant native to Europe and Asia. It grows to 5–20 cm in height. Here in North America, it is a common weed of cultivated areas and in some areas listed as an invasive species. Young plants have edible tops and leaves, used in salads or in stirfry as a spring vegetable. If finely chopped it can also be used in sauces. The flowers are bright red-purple, with a top hood-like petal, two lower lip petal lobes and minute fang-like lobes between. Bees gather its nectar for food when few other nectar sources are available.
I have spotted this red deadnettle both in my backyard and also in a field along a fence at our county park in Millersville, Maryland. I think of it as a pretty wildflower.