Thursday, 29 November 2012

Dead Nettles

Mention has already been made (20th November) of the Red Dead-nettle, Lamium purpureum. Its close relative, the White Dead-nettle Lamium album, is also flowering bravely - if a little pointlessly - in many places around the village. It may not be completely pointless as the flowers are visited by bumble bees, which may venture forth on a mild winter's day. My photograph is of a specimen beside the tennis courts.

Everyone is familiar with this species for it is extremely common. For the purposes of mapping, Northamptonshire is divided up into 131 x 5 km squares; the White Dead-nettle has been found in all 131 of these squares. As children we would remove the flowers and nibble the base of the corolla tube to taste the copious nectar. Well, sweets were rationed!  Tell kids that nowadays and they wouldn't believe you.

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