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Dead-nettle (Lamium)

   Dead-nettle (Lamium), fam. Lamiaceae.
   In the city and in rhe forest, Purple Dead-nettle (Lamium purpureum) occurs predominantly, with corresponding flower color (and in winter the leaves are also purple-colored). Sometimes it forms dense blooming carpets in spring. We also have Spotted Dead-nettle (Lamium maculatum), with white spots along the central vein of the leaf, which are more notable in the cold half of the year. It is called dead-nettle due to a similar shape of leaves and their opposite arrangement, each pair at right angles to the previous one (called decussate). But the leaves and stems of dead-nettle have no stinging hairs. After gaining some experience, it is easy to distinguish dead-nettle from nettle even from a distance. Finally, these plants look completely differently when blooming (nettle inflorescences are inconspicuous small greenish panicles). Dead-nettle likes shadow, coolness and moisture.
   Young shoots of the herb are edible, they can be put in soups and salads as any other garden greens. It has expectorant, diuretic and blood-stopping properties; contains a lot of vitamins. Dead-nettle is not desirable in case of hypotension and especially pregnancy.

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