YELLOW ARCHANGEL / SPRING / SUMMER / EDIBLE
I always think the name Yellow Archangel sounds a little too sinister for this beautiful and edible wild plant.
Yellow Archangel, Artillery plant, Aluminium plant, Yellow Weasel-snout, yellow dead-nettle
Kingdom – Plantae
Order – Lamiales
Family – Lamiaceae
Genus – Lamium
Range and Distribution
Widespread in England and Wales, naturalised in Scotland and Ireland.
Woodlands on heavy, neutral, or calcareous soils. An indicator of ancient woodlands, it prefers damp shady places – mostly woodland but also found on hedgebanks.
Physical Characteristics of Yellow Archangel
Erect, sparsely pubescent, stoloniferous (a horizontal stem above ground allowing propagation of clones of the mother plant), perennial, up to 60cm. Plants are either low and creeping when not in flower or upright when flowering.
Square in cross-section as with all member of the mint family. These form long creeping leafy runners (stolons), especially after flowering.
Leaves are stalked and 40-70mm long, oval, pointed, rounded at the base, stalked and coarsely toothed. They grow in opposite pairs up the stem with successive pairs at 90 degrees to previous pair.
Flowers are soft yellow and typical of the mint family, growing in whorls from the leaf axils, starting as tubes, dividing into upper hood and lower lip with red-brown streaks. Lower lip is three lobed. Flowers May to June.
Edible Uses of Yellow Archangel
Use in a similar way to White and Red Dead Nettle – leaves and young stems in salads, steamed as a side vegetable or in a soup in place of Urtica dioica.
This plant could be confused with a number of other Archangels – which all look pretty much identifical apart from the colour of their flowers, their names are typically the colour of their flower followed by Archangel, as far as we’re aware all the others are edible also 🙂 These are also known as White Dead Nettle
Prior to flowering this could also be confused with the common stinging nettle, the main difference is the stinging nettle won’t produce the yellow flowers of the archangel