Red Deadnettle

Red Deadnettle
Red Deadnettle. Lamium purpureum.
Lamiaceae, the mint family.

Plant: Low erect, hairy plant, to about 12", but often shorter, with short-stemmed, sometimes reddish leaves, and small pink flowers whorled about the stem between the leaves and in a terminal cluster.
Flowers: Pink, bilateral, about 1/2" long, with distinct upper and lower lower lips, the lower narrow-necked and marked with darker pink. Flowers are surrounded by five sepals, and borne in a leafy spike.
Leaves: Opposite, heart-shaped, to about 1", hairy, with rounded teeth, and short stalk. often reddish or purplish, especially near the growing tip.
Blooming: April-May
Habitat: Fields, waste places, disturbed ground.

Comments: This introduced member of the mint family blooms very early in the spring, but plants remain green, and occasionally put out flowers later in the year. The name "deadnettle" refers to the hairy aspect of the plant, similar to the appearance of nettles, but the hairs are not stinging or irritating.

Where to find it: One large patch is west of the western trail about 100m from the lodge. It is in a lawn area that is mowed down later in the spring. Also found scattered in other lawn boundary areas.