Stachys - Hedge-Nettle

"Perennial herb [annual], hairy, generally glandular; rhizome slender or 0. Stem: decumbent to erect, 0.1–2.5 m. Leaf: 1.5–18 cm, proximal generally petioled, distal ± sessile; blade oblong to ovate, serrate to crenate. Inflorescence: spike-like, generally terminal, interrupted or continuous, bracted. Flower: calyx bell-shaped, ± radial, veins 5–10, lobes 5, erect or spreading, triangular, tips sharp; corolla white, yellow, pink, red, magenta, or purple, tube narrow, with internal ring of hairs generally above base, perpendicular to oblique to tube axis, generally with short, pouched spur on the lower side of the tube, upper lip erect or generally parallel to tube axis, concave, entire (notched), generally hairy, lower lip perpendicular to tube axis or reflexed, 3(2)-lobed, glabrous to hairy. Fruit: oblong to ovoid, brown to black, smooth or irregularly, minutely roughened.
± 300 species: generally temperate; some cultivated for ornamental or edible rhizomatous tubers. (Greek: ear of corn, from inflorescence) [Mulligan & Munro 1989 Naturaliste Canad 116:35–51] Stachys arvensis L., Stachys floridana Shuttlew. historical waifs." [Jepson]

"The genus is quite variable, and some groups perhaps deserve to be recognized as distinct genera (Baltisberger, personal communication). One of these well separated groups is often recognized as Stachys section Betonica (e.g., Ball 1972b); as Stachys subgenus Betonica (Bhattacharjee 1980); or as the distinct genus Betonica (e.g., Baltisberger 1989). Stachys officinalis, treated in detail below, is a member of this group, which includes about 12 species centered in Europe and Turkey (Jeker et al. 1989)." [Small CH]

"Stachys affinis Bunge, Chinese or Japanese artichoke, is grown as a vegetable in Asia and to a minor extent in Europe for its edible tubers.... Stachys floridana Shuttleworth ex Bentham, rattlesnake weed, a native of the southeastern U.S., also produces edible tubers, but has yet to be exploited as a significant food source (Nelson, personal communication). Some species of Stachys are grown as ornamentals, and several have been used medicinally." [Small CH]

Local Species;

  1. Stachys arvensis - field hedge-nettle [E-flora]
  2. Stachys byzantina - lamb's-ear [E-flora]
  3. Stachys chamissonis - Cooley's hedge-nettle [E-flora][PCBC][TSFTK]
    • var. cooleyae
  4. Stachys mexicana - Mexican hedge-nettle [PCBC][E-flora]

Local but Not known on Vancouver island

  1. Stachys palustris - Woundwort [E-flora]

1. Plants annuals.................S. arvensis
1. Plants perennials.

2. Plants densely covered with soft, white hairs............S. byzantina
2. Plants not white-hairy.
3. Leaves unstalked, at least those of upper half of stem.............. S. palustris
3. Leaves all stalked.
4. Plants 70-150 cm tall; corollas deep red-purple; tubes 15-23 mm long................S. chamissonis
4. Plants 30-80 cm tall; corollas pale pink to pink-purple, tubes 8-13 mm long...............S. mexicana


Field hedge-nettle - Stachys arvensis

Lamb's-ear - Stachys byzantina

General: Perennial herb from a rhizome; stems erect, 30-80 cm tall, branched above, 4-angled, softly long-hairy. [IFBC-E-flora-4]
Leaves: Opposite, narrowly egg-shaped to oblong, 5-10 cm long, rounded to more or less heart-shaped at the base, toothed, the upper ones unstalked, the lower ones stalked. [IFBC-E-flora-4]
Flowers: Inflorescence a sometimes interrupted, bracted spike; bracts reddish-purple, as long as the calyces; corollas deeply 2-lipped, dark purplish-blue, 9-12 mm long; calyces egg-shaped to tubular, 6-8 mm long, long-hairy, the upper lip minutely 3-toothed, shorter than the lanceolate teeth of the lower lip. [IFBC-E-flora-4]
Fruits: Nutlets, 4 clustered together. [IFBC-E-flora-4]

Habitat/Range; Waste places in the lowland zone; rare garden escape on S Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands; introduced from Europe.
Status: Exotic [IFBC-E-flora]-4

Medicinal Use

Cooley's Hedge-Nettle - S. chamissonis

Family: Mint - Lamiaceae Family
Other Names: Hedge-nettle (coastal hedgenettle; Lamb's-ear[E-flora]


General: Perennial herb from rhizome; stems erect, 70-150 cm tall, mostly unbranched, 4-angled, bristly-hairy on the angles. [IFBC-E-flora]
Leaves: Opposite, wedge- to egg-shaped, 6-15 cm long, 2.5-8 cm wide, coarsely blunt-toothed, long-hairy; only somewhat reduced and shorter-stalked upward; stalks 1.5-4.5 cm long.[IFBC-E-flora]
Flowers: Inflorescence a series of clusters of several to many flowers, the lower subtended by slightly reduced leaves, the upper by bracts; corollas tubular, deep red-purple, the tube 15-25 mm long, 2-lipped, the upper lip erect, simple and somewhat hood-like, the lower lip 3-lobed, 8-14 mm long; calyces tubular, 8-11 (13) mm long, glandular-hairy, ring of hairs within near base of tube, teeth broadly lance-triangular, shorter than the tube, spine-tipped. [IFBC-E-flora]
Fruits: Nutlets, 4 clustered together. [IFBC-E-flora]

Habitat/Range: Wet to mesic swamps, waste places, roadsides, open woodlands and forest margins in the lowland and lower montane zone; common in SW BC west of the Coast-Cascade Mountains, rare on the Queen Charlotte Islands; S to OR[IFBC-E-flora]
Origin Status: Native [E-flora]

Medicinal Uses

Stachys mexicana

Stachys mexicana

Stachys mexicana

Mexican Hedge-Nettle - S. Mexicana


Ecological Indicator Information
"Shade-tolerant/intolerant, sub montane to montane, Pacific North American forb. Occurs in cool mesothermal climates on very moist to wet, nitrogen-rich soils. Occurrence decreases with increasing latitude, elevation, and continentality. Sporadic in the herbaceous understory of broad-leaved forests on water-receiving (floodplain) sites. Commonly associated with Adiantum pedatum, Athyrium filix-femina, Circaea pacifica, Oplopanax horridus, Tiarella trifoliata, and Tolmiea menziesii. A nitrophytic species characteristic of Moder and Mull humus forms.[IPBC](Information applies to coastal locations only)"[IPBC-E-flora-2]

Edible Uses

Other Uses

Medicinal Uses

Woundwort - Stachys palustris

Food Use

Medicinal Use

Cultivation: "In China and France the related S. sieboldii is cultivated as a root vegetable, and other species could be. They are grown from seed or tubers in light, moist soil. Be careful where you put them, as they can become weeds. Keep them confined, and try not to spread the tubers around when you harvest." [Tozer UWP]

Uses of other Related Sp.

Stachys officinalis - Wood Betony, Common hedgenettle, Betony, Woundwort


Edible Uses

Other Uses

Medicinal Uses

"Medicinally, it was claimed that it could cure over 47 different ailments, including “elf sickness” in the 10th century, and was used as a tobacco and snuff in the 18th century. It is taken for nervous disorders, and should be used only under medical supervision." [GrowHerbs] "... it is in very common use amongst herbalists in the UK, the authors included, primarily as a nerve tonic with special reference to the head, and thus a reliever of headaches. Clearly this action cannot be directly linked to its tannin content, except in cases of headache from sinusitis and head colds..." [TWHT] "Wood betony was at one time commonly used as a medicinal plant in the treatment of a wide range of disorders, especially as a nervine and tonic for treating maladies of the head and as an external application to wounds[4, 7, 238]. It also stimulates the digestive system and the liver, having an overall tonic effect upon the body[254]. Wood betony is much less used nowadays, and more often forms part of a mixture of herbs[4].... It is taken in the treatment of 'frayed nerves', pre-menstrual complaints, poor memory and tension[254].... A pinch of the powdered herb will provoke violent sneezing and it has been used as part of a herbal snuff mixture in the treatment of headaches[4]." [PFAF]

Phytochemicals: "The leaves contain about 15% tannins, 0.5% betaine, 0.5% caffeic acid, and other compounds (Duke 1985). The chief alkaloids present are betonicine and stachydrine (Stuart 1979). The plants also contain several different iridoids (Jeker et al. 1989)." [Small CH]

"Studies have shown antioxidant activity in a range of Stachys species and found a correlation with the concentration of polyphenols (Háznagy-Radnai et al 2006, Matkowski & Piotrowska 2006, Khanavi et al 2009) although Vundać et al (2007) argue that only the scavenging of free radicals is significant. Matkowski & Piotrowska (2006) included Stachys officinalis in their research into the antioxidant activity of several medicinal herbs. Betony, along with white horehound Marrubium vulgare, showed itself the strongest of the plants tested in inhibiting lipid oxidation." [TWHT]

"Until further research is forthcoming, this former panacea is probably better considered in practice as a tonic, not only of the nervous system but of the digestive system also, owing to its bitter, aromatic and spasmolytic qualities. It should not be forgotten as a herb for respiratory catarrh, while its virtue as a diuretic and urinary herb and with regard to hypertension, prohibition in pregnancy, or its true effects on the bowel should be subject to further testing, including, where ethical, clinical trials." [TWHT]

Cultivation: "This herb tolerates most situations. For preference, plant betony in a fertile soil in sun or partial shade. Another favored site for the plant is at the edge of deciduous woodland. I have also grown it to great effect in a container mixed with other wildflowers, using a loam-based substrate." [GrowHerbs]

Stachys sp;

Use of Various other Sp.

  • Stachys affinis (Chinese Artichoke) - Egypt and Arabia. [Sturtevant EPW]
    • Root: "Crosnes (Stachys affinis) is a tuberous rooted relative of mint native to Asia. The nutty tubers are extremely popular in China and Japan both in stir-fries and pickles. The plant was introduced into Europe in the early 1880s and takes its name from the village of Crosnes, France, where it was first grown." [Katz EFC] "The roots are thick and fleshy and are useful for pickles and may be used fried. According to Bretschneider, the roots were eaten as a vegetable in China in the fourteenth and sixteenth centuries and are described as a cultivated vegetable by Chinese writings of 1640 and 1742. The species is a cultivated vegetable in Japan and is called choro-gi,and is esteemed." [Sturtevant EPW]
  • Stachys aegyptiaca - Whole Plant - Antispasmodic, antiallergenic [UNIDO Africa]
  • Stachys albens; Stachyoside - Andary and Ibrahim (1986) [Bajaj MAPS 3]
  • Stachys aleurites Boiss. and Heldr. - Aerial Part - Essential oil (hydro distillation), % dry wt: 0.15 [LLCEOPS]
  • Stachys annua L. - Seed - Oil, %: 26.79–36.69 [LLCEOPS]
  • Stachys arvensis L. - Seed and Pericarp - Oil (petroleum ether, 30–60C), % dry wt: 38.0 [LLCEOPS]
  • S. baicalensis Fisch. ex Benth.; (whole plant) Coumarin, alkaloids, stachydrine chloride.48 - Treat cold, influenza. [CRNAH]
  • S. baicalensis Fisch. ex Benth. var. angustifolia Honda; (whole plant) Coumarin, alkaloids, stachydrine chloride.48 - Treat cold, influenza. [CRNAH]
  • Stachys balansae; (+)-Stachydrine [9] [Azimova Alkaloids]
  • Stachys betonicaeflora Rupr.; (+)-Stachydrine [3] [Azimova Alkaloids]
  • Stachys betoniciflora - Seed - Oil (hexane), %: 26.5; Oil (petroleum ether), % abs. dry wt: 24.1 [LLCEOPS]
  • Stachys chinensis Bunge. ex Benth.; (whole plant) Coumarin, alkaloids, stachydrine chloride.48 - Treat cold, influenza. [CRNAH]
  • Stachys cretica L. subsp. mersinaea - Aerial part - Essential oil (hydro distillation), % dry wt: 0.15 [LLCEOPS]
  • Stachys cretica Sibth and Sm. - Seed and Pericarp - Oil (petroleum ether, 30–60C), % dry wt: 29.0 [LLCEOPS]
  • Stachys germanica L. - Terpenoids - "Components, %: b-Pinene – 15.5; a-pinene – 8.4; cis-ocimene – 8.1; trans-b-farnesene – 7.0; 1.8-cineol – 6.0; germacrene D – 5.4; limonene– 2.2..."; Phytol, % dry wt: 0.04 [2]; Sterols, % dry wt: 0.06 [2]; Seed and Pericarp - Oil (petroleum ether, 30–60C), % dry wt: 30.0 [3] [LLCEOPS]
  • Stachys hirta L. - Seed and Pericarp - Oil (petroleum ether, 30–60C), % dry wt: 32.0 [LLCEOPS]
  • Stachys hissarica Regel; (+)-Stachydrine [3] [Azimova Alkaloids]
  • S. hyssopifolia - Hyssop Hedge Nettle This is one of the best tuber-bearing species. [Tozer UWP]
  • Stachys iberica Bieb. subsp. stenostachya (Boiss). Rech. fil. - Aerial Part - Essential oil (hydro distillation), %: 0.08 (Turkey)[LLCEOPS]
  • Stachys inflata Benth. - Seed - Oil, %: 27.7 [1] [LLCEOPS]
    • Antifungal:
      Aerial parts
      • Essential oil - No effect Vs. C. albicans
        • Linalool (28.55 % of the oil) - 125-500 µg/ml Vs. A. niger.
        • á-terpineol (9.45 % of the oil) - 250–500 µg/ml.
      • Methanolic extract - 250 µg/ml only for C. albicans-MICs [Antifungal]
  • Stachys ionica - Aerial Part - Essential oil (steam distillation), % v/dry wt: 0.36– 0.38 (from air-dried plant material; Greece) [LLCEOPS]
  • S. japonica Miq.; (whole plant) Coumarin, alkaloids, stachydrine chloride.48 - Treat cold, influenza. [CRNAH]
  • Stachys lanata Jacq. (Stachys byzantina C.Koch); (+)-Stachydrine [9] [Azimova Alkaloids]
  • Stachys lanata; Stachyoside - Andary and Ibrahim (1986) [Bajaj MAPS 3]
  • Stachys lanata - Seed - Oil (petroleum ether, 30–60C), % dry wt: 31.9; Oil, %: 19.0–26.0 [1] [LLCEOPS]
  • Stachys melanii Petrov. - Seed and Pericarp - Oil (petroleum ether, 30–60C), % dry wt: 32.0 [LLCEOPS]
  • Stachys olymrica Poir. - Seed and Pericarp - Ash, %: 7.0; Oil, % dry wt: 31.9 [LLCEOPS]
  • Stachys palustris L. - Sterols, % dry wt: 0.07 [1]; Terpenoids - Phytol, % dry wt: 0.09 [1]; Seed - Oil, %: 38.0–44.0 [2] [LLCEOPS]
  • Stachys pinardii Boiss. - Aerial Part - Essential oil (hydrodistillation), % dry wt: 0.15 (endemic, Turkey) [LLCEOPS]
  • Stachys recta L. - Sterols, % dry wt: 0.07; Terpenoids - Phytol, % dry wt: 0.08 [LLCEOPS]
  • Stachys rigida; Stachyoside - Andary and Ibrahim (1986) [Bajaj MAPS 3]
  • Stachys schtschegleevii Sosn. - Leaf - Essential oil (hydrodistillation), % dry wt: 0.2 (w/w) (from air dried plant material, Iran) [LLCEOPS]
  • Stachys sieboldii - Acteoside (= Kusaginin; Verbascoside) (phenylethanoid glycoside) [Polya BTPBC]
  • Stachys spruneri - Aerial Part - Essential oil (steam distillation, % v/dry wt: 0.29–0.31 (from air-dried plant material; Greece) [LLCEOPS]
  • Stachys swainsonii ssp. Ardolica (Boiss.) Phitos - Aerial Part - Essential oil (steam distillation), % v/dry wt: 0.21–0.26 (from air-dried plant material; Greece)[LLCEOPS]
  • Stachys swainsonnii ssp. Melangavica D. Persson - Aerial Part - Essential oil (steam distillation), % v/dry wt: 0.23– 0.24 (from air-dried plant material, Greece)[LLCEOPS]
  • Stachys swainsonii ssp. swainsonii - Aerial Part - Essential oil (steam distillation), % v/dry wt: 0.16–0.20 (from air-dried plant material; Greece) [LLCEOPS]
  • Stachys sylvatica L. - Seed and Pericarp - Oil (petroleum ether, 30–60C), % dry wt: 22.0 [1] [LLCEOPS]
  • Stachys thirkei C. Koch. - Seed and Pericarp - Oil (petroleum ether, 30–60C), % dry wt: 29.0 [LLCEOPS]
  • Stachys tuberifera - stachydrine [PDBHM]
  • Stachys viticina Boiss. - Seed and Pericarp - Oil (petroleum ether, 30–60C), % dry wt: 31.0 [LLCEOPS]


Page last modified on Wednesday, January 16, 2019 11:25 AM