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Published In: Species Plantarum 2: 579. 1753. (1 May 1753) (Sp. Pl.) Name publication detailView in BotanicusView in Biodiversity Heritage Library

Project Name Data (Last Modified On 8/25/2017)
Acceptance : Accepted
Project Data     (Last Modified On 7/9/2009)
Status: Introduced


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3. Lamium purpureum L. (dead nettle)

Pl. 434 h, i; Map 1952

Stems 7–30(–40) cm long, erect or ascending, often from a spreading base, unbranched or more commonly few- to several-branched from below the midpoint, glabrous or more commonly sparsely to moderately pubescent with short, downward-angled hairs (sometimes mainly on the angles), sometimes also with sparse longer, spreading hairs (especially near the nodes). Leaves long-petiolate (lower and often also median leaves), the petioles unwinged, grading into short-petiolate leaves (mostly those subtending flower clusters) that are not clasping the stem. Leaf blades 5–35 mm long, unlobed, the margins with fine to relatively coarse, blunt to sharp teeth, broadly angled to truncate or shallowly cordate at the base, bluntly to sharply pointed or less commonly rounded at the tip, the surfaces moderately to densely pubescent with fine, loosely appressed hairs, those of the lower leaves ovate-triangular to ovate, slightly heart-shaped, or occasionally nearly circular, grading into those of the upper leaves, which are ovate-triangular to broadly ovate or slightly heart-shaped, usually longer than wide. Inflorescences with the upper nodes often congested, the bractlets present, but inconspicuous, slender. Calyces 5–8 mm long, the tube and lobes sparsely bristly-hairy, sometimes also with sessile glands, the lobes usually longer than the tube. Corollas (except in cleistogamous flowers) 10–20 mm long, the outer surface sparsely to densely short-hairy, lacking a differentiated patch of longer, darker hairs on the upper lip, the upper lip 3–6 mm long, rounded to less commonly very shallowly notched at the tip, pale pink to lavender or pinkish purple, rarely entirely white, the lower lip 1.5–3.0 mm long, usually lighter pink or white, with purple spots or mottling, rarely entirely white, the lateral lobes short (to 0.5 mm), narrowly triangular and toothlike, the central lobe obcordate and sometimes slightly uneven along the margins. 2n=18. March–May, rarely November–January.

Scattered to common nearly throughout the state, but apparently uncommon in the western portion of the Glaciated Plains Division (native of Europe, Asia; introduced nearly throughout temperate North America). Bottomland prairies, bottomland forests, mesic upland forests, ledges of bluffs, and banks of streams; also crop fields, fallow fields, old fields, pastures, barnyards, fencerows, cemeteries, lawns, railroads, roadsides, and open, disturbed areas.

Mennema (1989) treated L. purpureum as a complex of four varieties. In this classification, the introduced Midwestern material would correspond to var. purpureum. However, these varieties probably are better treated as separate species (see also the treatment of L. hybridum for further discussion).

Comparing the current distribution to that mapped by Steyermark (1963), it is apparent that L. purpureum has expanded its distribution north of the Missouri River during the past few decades. An unnamed form with white corollas is encountered rarely within populations of pink-flowered plants.



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