Lamium orvala

16 May

Lamium orvala (19/04/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

Lamium orvala (19/04/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

Position: Full sun to partial shade

Flowering period: Late spring to summer

Soil: Moist, well drained

Eventual Height: 50cm

Eventual Spread: 50cm

Hardiness: 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b, 10a, 10b

Family: Lamiaceae

Lamium orvala is a herbaceous perennial plant with a clump forming habit. Its mid green leaves are ovate with serrate margins, softly hairy, up to 10cm long and 6cm broad. Its stems are four sided. Its pink/ purple hermaphrodite flowers are produced in whorls on the upper part of the stem, have a vaguely helmeted appearance and up to 4cm long. Its dull brown fruit are small nutlets.

Lamium orvala Flower (19/04/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

Lamium orvala Flower (19/04/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

Lamium orvala, commonly known as Balm Leaved Red Deadnettle, Balm Leaved Deadnettle or Balm Leaved Archangel, is native to central and south Europe.

The etymological root of the binomial name Lamium is derived from the Greek laimos ‘throat’, alluding to the throat like appearance of the blossoms. The origins of  Orvala are unclear, possibly derived from the Greek for Sage. Reader feedback would be welcome.

The landscape architect may find Lamium orvala useful as part of a mixed herbaceous planting schemes, particularly in shady locations.

Lamium orvala Leaf (19/04/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

Lamium orvala Leaf (19/04/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

Ecologically, Lamium orvala is attractive to bees and pollinating insects.

Lamium orvala prefers moist, fertile, well-drained soils. It tolerates most pH of soil.

Lamium orvala requires little maintenance.

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