Stachys sylvatica   Hedge Woundwort CC DD N

Stachys sylvatica whole Stachys sylvatica close

This is a fairly common hedgerow plant but with their are quite a few with reddish or purple flowers so how can you identify it easily? In this case it's easy and I take a perverse delight in demonstrating it's unique quality to my non botanist friends. Take a leaf, crush it well and breathe in deeply. You'll never forget the smell. Powerfully aromatic and profoundly disgusting.

My first digital camera didn't cope well with varying light conditions so I bracketed the shots (one normal, one under and one over-exposed according to the settings). In the third shot a hover fly zoomed in at that precise moment.

Stachys sylvatica is found throughout the British Isles except for the highest northern hills. It is scarce on the outer islands.

Cheshire Lane, 15th September 2004

Added on November 17th 2004, updated 11th February 2012

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