If you would like to read my Dorset nature notes about any of these featured species or sites please click on the post title

About Me

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I have been interested in nature for most of my life but since I retired I spend as much time as I can exploring the nature reserves and wildlife hotspots of my adopted home, Dorset in southern England. Whilst out I record what I see and take snaps where I can (I am no photographer!) and that forms the basis of my Nature of Dorset website. When I find something new I like to research it and write about it in my nature notes, it is how I learn and hopefully you might find my notes helpful as well!

This website is for the people of Dorset interested in wildlife and for people from elsewhere interested in the wildlife of Dorset!

17 May, 2010

White Deadnettle (Lamium album)

When you encounter a flower you do not know you need to look it up in a reference book of some sort. My 'master' book, "The Illustrated Flora of Britain and Northern Europe" has 544 pages and my pocket field guide, is much smaller, it is only 480 pages.

The question is then, where, on all those pages do you start to look?

As with all wildlife, animal or vegetable, science has classified all living things into Kingdoms, Phylum, Classes, Orders, Families, Genera and Species (You can remember this by recalling that King Philip called out for garlic sausage!)

In other words, if you can decide on the order or the family then you know where to start looking.

The labiate family has some 40 species listed in my field guide over five pages. They all have square stems and tubular, trumpet shaped flowers. The flowers nearly always come as a whorl around the stem. They include mints, nettles, woundworts and bugles. All different yet all with similar features.

This is a photo of a plant with a square stem and tubular flowers in a whorl and can be quickly traced to the dead-nettles, in this case, as the flowers are white it's White Deadnettle.

Simple!