Hedge Woundwort

Botanical Name : Stachys sylvatica
Family: Lamiaceae
Genus: Stachys
Species: S. sylvatica
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Lamiales

Common Names :Hedge Woundwort, Hedge nettle

Habitat :Hedge Woundwort is native to Europe, including Britain, south and east from Norway to Portugal, the Caucasus and the Himalayas. Grows in  Woodland, hedgebanks and shady waste places, usually on rich soils

Description:
Hedge Woundwort is a perennial grassland herb growing to 80 cm tall. In temperate zones of the northern hemisphere it blossoms in July and August.Flowers in whorls of about 6 at the base of leaf-like bracts, or the lowest one or two whorls at the base of leaves proper.(Flower c 12-16 mm long.  Leaf-blades c 4-9 cm long.)  No gradual change from leaves to bracts as you go up stem, but a clear discontinuity.  Fruit has 4 nutlets as in all Labiatae  The flowers are purple. The leaves, when crushed or bruised, give off an unpleasant smell.
CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES
Flower claret-coloured with whitish markings, upper lip hood-shaped and lower lip divided into 3 obvious lobes, the middle one much the largest.  Middle lobe not notched.  Calyx with 5 near-equal teeth.  Leaves from midway up stem have blades less than twice as long as wide, the leaf stalk more than a third as long as the blade.

It is hardy to zone 5 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from July to August, and the seeds ripen from August to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees. It is noted for attracting wildlife.
The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and requires well-drained soil. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It requires moist soil.

Cultivation :
Grows well along woodland edges. The whole plant gives off a most unpleasant smell when bruised. A good bee plant.

Propagation:
Seed – sow spring in a cold frame. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots once they are large enough to handle and plant them out in the summer. Division in spring. Larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found it best to pot up the smaller divisions and grow them on in a lightly shaded position in a cold frame, planting them out once they are well established in the summer.

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Medicinal Uses:

Diuretic; Emmenagogue; Styptic; Tonic.

The whole herb is styptic. It is applied externally to wounds etc. The plant is also said to be diuretic, emmenagogue and tonic.
The whole herb is styptic. It is applied externally to wounds etc. From Culpeper: this herb ‘stamped with vinegar and applied in manner of a pultis, taketh away wens and hard swellings, and inflammation of the kernels under the eares and jawes,’ and also that the distilled water of the flowers ‘is used to make the heart merry, to make a good colour in the face, and to make the vitall spirits more fresh and lively.’

Other Uses:
Dye; Fibre.

A tough fibre is obtained from the stem. It has commercial possibilities. A yellow dye is obtained from the plant.

Scented Plants
Plant: Crushed
The whole plant gives off a most unpleasant smell when bruised.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider

Resources:
http://digedibles.com/database/plants.php?Stachys+sylvatica
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stachys_sylvatica
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_FGH.htm
http://www.plant-identification.co.uk/skye/labiatae/stachys-sylvatica.htm

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