Tuesday, April 10, 2012

A bed of purple

I'm having trouble identifying this flower. I think it may be a member of lamiacée family, but am not sure. This patch grows under a stand of acacia trees between vineyards where it gets partial sun and partial shade, depending on the time of day. It's growing among a large patch of orties (stinging nettles), but I don't think these are the flowers of the nettle.

A bed of pretty spring wildflowers at woods' edge.

My close-ups of the flowers didn't come out well enough to post. I'll try again another time. It's hard to get too close because I don't want to get tangled up with the nettles.


  1. It looks at this distance like Red Dead-nettle... and is a Labiate [Lamium purpureum]... but it should have a 'red'ish top to the plant.
    It could also be Henbit Dead-nettle [L. amplexicaule]

  2. Catherine near Lille10 April, 2012 09:16


    The mention of nettles reminded me of a phrase I had to learn for a vocabulary test last year 'faut pas pousser mémé dans les orties' which I recall means something like 'don't push it / don't exaggerate'..... but I like the image conjured up by the literal translation of 'you don't need to push granny in the stinging nettles'.

    I've not used this phrase in conversation in the 8 months I've been living here, but maybe that should be my objective for this week. Anything to get this morning's lycee class of 15-16 year olds to respond!

    Bonne journee!


  3. Take it out of focus and it could be a Monet.

  4. I don't know about the purple flowers, but I do have some of that stinging nettle stuff and it does sting. Yuck. Thanks for giving me the name of it.

  5. Whatever it is, it is beautiful Walt!

  6. I think the contenders are some sort of Calamint, Woundwort or Horehound, but I can't tell without a closer look. It is certainly Lamiaceae (Deadnettle family). Stinging Nettles have very discreet tiny green flowers.

  7. Walt,

    I love fields of purple. Our coastal lowlands here in southern Delaware also have these "fields of purple" in the springtime. I think the plant is a type of weed. And of course "a weed" is simply a flower no one wants. Whatever it is, the sight of these violet fields after the cold gray monotones of winter are very welcome. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Here's my two pennies worth - Common Hemp Nettle (Galeopsis Tetrahit)

    1. Yep, also a thought. Whatever it is, it has to be Lamium spp (Deadnettles proper) or one of the other Lamiaceae flowering awfully early. Pauline may turn out to be the closest guess because it's the Lamium spp that flower at this time of year. Hemp Nettles, Calamints, Germanders, Woundworts and Horehounds all flower in the summer. It's a mighty impressive patch, whatever it is.

  9. Thanks to all (except you, Michael, lol) for your suggestions. I'll try to get close-up shot.

    I've been bad at responding to comments this week. I will endeavor to do better. :)


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