marsh hedge nettle

(Stachys palustris)

Conservation Status
marsh hedge nettle
Photo by Luciearl
  IUCN Red List

not listed


N5? - Secure

SNR - Unranked


not listed

Wetland Indicator Status

OBL - Obligate wetland

  Northcentral & Northeast

OBL - Obligate wetland


Marsh hedge nettle is a 12 to 40 tall, erect, perennial forb that rises from a rhizome. It often forms colonies.

The stems are erect, square, hollow, and usually unbranched. They have copious hairs both on the ridges of the stem and between the ridges. The hairs are bent downward. The hairs on the ridges are distinctly longer but not much stouter than those between the ridges.

The leaves are opposite, lance egg-shaped or broadly oblong to egg-shaped, 1 to 3½ long, and mostly ¾ to 1½ wide. They are mostly stalkless but some may be on short leaf stalks. The leaf blades taper to a point at the tip and are broadly rounded or almost heart-shaped at the base. The upper surface is green and hairy. The lower surface is paler green and has hairs along the major veins. The margins have rounded, forward-pointing teeth.

The inflorescence is a cluster of usually 6 flowers. Lower clusters rise from the upper leaf axils. Middle and upper clusters are opposite and are subtended by a small, leaf-like bract. Each pair of opposite flower clusters together form a false whorl. The bracts become gradually smaller as they ascend the stem.

The flowers are 7 16 to long. They have 5 green or purplish, hairy sepals that are fused at the base into a calyx tube ¼ to long and separated at the end into 5 lance-shaped lobes. The calyx lobes are nearly as long as the calyx tube and are hairy. There are 5 petals that are fused at the base into a corolla tube about ¼ long. The petals are pink or lavender with white spots. The calyx tube is always at least as long as the corolla tube. The corolla is divided at the end into 2 lips. The upper lip is about 3 16 long and wide, hood-like, hairy outside, hairless inside. The lower lip is divided at the tip into 3 lobes, a large central lobe and 2 smaller lateral lobes. There are 4 stamens protected beneath the hood.

The fruit is 4 greenish-white, 3-ribbed, 1-seeded nutlets. They turn black when they ripen.




12 to 40


Flower Color


Pink or lavender with white spots


Similar Species


American germander (Teucrium canadense) flowers have a greatly reduced upper lip.

Hispid hedge nettle (Stachys hispida) stems have hairs on the ridges but no hairs between the ridges.

Smooth hedge nettle (Stachys tenuifolia) stems have hairs on the ridges but no hairs between the ridges. The leaves may have hairs along the midribs but are otherwise hairless.

Woundwort (Stachys pilosa var. arenicola) stems have hairs on the ridges and between the ridges that are about alike. The leaves are narrower, rarely wider than ¾.


Moist to wet




July to August


Pests and Diseases






Distribution Map



2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 24, 28, 29, 30.









  Kingdom Plantae (green algae and land plants)  
  Subkingdom Viridiplantae (green plants)  
  Infrakingdom Streptophyta (land plants and green algae)  
  Superdivision Embryophyta (land plants)  
  Division Tracheophyta (vascular plants)  
  Subdivision Spermatophytina (seed plants)  
  Class Magnoliopsida (flowering plants)  
  Superorder Asteranae  


Lamiales (mints, plantains, olives, and allies)  


Lamiaceae (mint)  
  Subfamily Lamioideae  
  Tribe Stachydeae  
  Genus Stachys (hedge nettles)  

There is considerable disagreement about the number, the classification, and the common names of Minnesota’s Stachys species and varieties.




Stachys asperrima

Stachys borealis

Stachys homotricha

Stachys palustris var. homotricha

Stachys palustris var. nipigonensis

Stachys palustris var. phaneropoda

Stachys palustris var. pilosa

Stachys palustris ssp. pilosa

Stachys palustris var. puberula

Stachys scopulorum

Stachys teucriifolia

Stachys teucriiformis


Common Names


hairy hedgenettle

hairy hedge-nettle

marsh hedge nettle














Modified leaf at the base of a flower stalk, flower cluster, or inflorescence.



The group of outer floral leaves (sepals) below the petals, occasionally forming a tube.



A collective name for all of the petals of a flower.



Long, straight, and narrow, with more or less parallel sides, like a blade of grass.



A horizontal, usually underground stem. It serves as a reproductive structure, producing roots below and shoots above at the nodes.



An outer floral leaf, usually green but sometimes colored, at the base of a flower.

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  Marsh Woundwort
Wez Smith
  Marsh Woundwort  

Marsh Woundwort (Stachys palustris).




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Other Videos
  Moerasandoorn Stachys palustris 5 juli 2010.wmv
Wim Derks

Uploaded on Jul 5, 2010

Van dichtbij een bloem waarvan het bijna exotische doet denken aan orchideeën. Langs onze sloten en op andere vochtige gronden is zij heel algemeen.






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