Plant A Day – Purple Deadnettle

Purple Deadnettle Lamium purpureum

Purple Deadnettle
Lamium purpureum

Decussate!  That’s what Purple Deadnettle is … Decussate.  As long as I’m putting plant pics up, I might as well throw in some botanical terms.  So, the first one is “Decussate”.

Decussate simply means that the opposite pairs of leaves are 90 degrees offset from the pairs above and below them.  That’s how botanists talk when they talk to each other.  Another opposite leaf term is “Distichous”.  This means that the sets of opposite leaves are in the same plane, giving the appearance of two rows of leaves.  Far fewer plants have distichous leaves than have decussate leaves, although most compound leaves have distichous leaflets.

So, there’s your botany lesson for today.

Purple deadnettle almost always grows in bunches. This is probably one plant.

Purple deadnettle almost always grows in bunches.
This is probably one plant.

Purple deadnettle can completely cover a farm field in early spring. It will be plowed under and pop up again next spring.

Purple deadnettle can completely cover a farm field in early spring.
It will be plowed under and pop up again next spring.

Purple deadnettle obviously is an early season plant!

Purple deadnettle obviously is an early season plant!

Leaf

Leaf

lapu2_plant_001

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2 Responses to Plant A Day – Purple Deadnettle

  1. Deborah Miller says:

    Haha, don’t you mean damn nettle? Seriously enjoying learning about my weeds!

    Sent from my iPhone4S via deb

    >

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