This is Stachys sylvatica, commonly known as hedge nettle, hedge stachys or hedge woundwort. It is growing at the far end of Lambrok Meadow.

All plants that include woundwort among their common names have been used in the past to disinfect and heal wounds. Before the discovery of antibiotics, something as simple as an infected cut or graze could easily be fatal; for centuries healers searched for herbs that would clean a wound and prevent infection.

Hedge woundwort was first recorded as an effective treatment for wounds in the sixteenth century, at which time it was also believed to ward of the effects of magic.

Stachys sylvatica is a perennial plant that reproduces both sexually, by producing seeds, and vegetatively by the growth of vigorous underground rhizomes. At the end of Lambrok Meadow, it has found an ideal spot in a damp area that used to be a pond. Let’s hope that in a couple of years it will have become commonplace in the park rather than the exception that it is at the moment.

Conservation status: not threatened; distribution stable.

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