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Stachys officinalis - (L.)Trevis.

Common Name Wood Betony, Common hedgenettle, Betony, Woundwort
Family Lamiaceae or Labiatae
USDA hardiness 5-10
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Grassland, hedgebanks, heath and open woods, avoiding calcareous soils[9, 17].
Range Europe, including Britain, south and east from Sweden to Spain, Italy, Greece and the Caucasus.
Edibility Rating    (1 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (2 of 5)
Care
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Stachys officinalis Wood Betony, Common hedgenettle, Betony, Woundwort


http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Pryma
Stachys officinalis Wood Betony, Common hedgenettle, Betony, Woundwort
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Nova

 

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Summary

Bloom Color: Pink, Purple. Main Bloom Time: Early summer, Late summer, Late spring, Mid summer, Mid spring. Form: Rounded.


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Stachys officinalis is a PERENNIAL growing to 0.6 m (2ft) by 0.5 m (1ft 8in) at a fast rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 5 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from June to September, and the seeds ripen from July to October. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Bees.
It is noted for attracting wildlife.
Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in heavy clay soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

S. betonica. Benth. Betonica officinalis.

Habitats

Woodland Garden Sunny Edge; Dappled Shade; Shady Edge; Hedgerow;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts:
Edible Uses: Tea

The leaves and flowering tops make a good tea substitute. Refreshing and aromatic[21, 100, 183], it has all the good qualities of tea without the negative ones[4].

Medicinal Uses

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Anthelmintic  Antiseptic  Astringent  Carminative  Cathartic  Cholagogue  Digestive  Diuretic  
Emetic  Emmenagogue  Expectorant  Homeopathy  Nervine  Sedative  Sternutatory  
Tonic  Vulnerary

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]. The whole plant is collected when in flower in the summer and can be dried for later use[4, 254]. It is anthelmintic, antiseptic, astringent, carminative, mildly cathartic, cholagogue, digestive, diuretic, mildly emetic, emmenagogue, expectorant, nervine, sedative, sternutatory, tonic and vulnerary[4, 9, 14, 21, 165, 218]. It is taken in the treatment of 'frayed nerves', pre-menstrual complaints, poor memory and tension[254]. It can be taken in combination with herbs such as comfrey, Symphytum officinale, and lime flowers, Tilia species, to treat sinus headaches and congestion[254]. Wood betony can be taken on its own, or with yarrow, Achillea millefolium, to staunch nosebleeds[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]. A homeopathic remedy is made from the fresh plant[9]. It is used in the treatment of asthma and excessive perspiration[9].

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Edible Shrubs provides detailed information, attractively presented, on over 70 shrub species. They have been selected to provide a mix of different plant sizes and growing conditions. Most provide delicious and nutritious fruit, but many also have edible leaves, seeds, flowers, stems or roots, or they yield edible or useful oil.

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Other Uses

Dye

A fine yellow dye is obtained from the leaves[4].

Special Uses

Attracts Wildlife

Cultivation details

Landscape Uses:Border, Ground cover, Specimen. Prefers a light moist neutral to acid soil in sun or light shade[7, 17, 238]. A characteristic plant of healthy roadside banks on heavy soils[187]. Hardy to at least -25°c[187]. At one time bugle was often cultivated for its medicinal virtues, though it is now little used[4]. There are some named varieties selected for their ornamental value[188]. An excellent bee plant[24]. Special Features:Attractive foliage, Fragrant foliage, Not North American native, Invasive, Naturalizing, Suitable for cut flowers, Suitable for dried flowers.

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The PFAF Bookshop

Plants For A Future have a number of books available in paperback and digital form. Book titles include Edible Plants, Edible Perennials, Edible Trees, and Woodland Gardening. Our new book to be released soon is Edible Shrubs.

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Propagation

Seed - sow spring in a cold frame. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots once they are large enough to handle and plant them out in the summer. Division in spring. Very easy, the plant can be successfully divided at almost any time of the year. Larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found it best to pot up the smaller divisions and grow them on in a lightly shaded position in a cold frame, planting them out once they are well established in the summer.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

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Expert comment

Author

(L.)Trevis.

Botanical References

17200

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Readers comment

José Waizel-Bucay   Sat Jun 4 05:16:26 2005

elaborate alkaloids & tannins

José Waizel-Bucay   Sat Jun 4 05:16:26 2005

elaborate alkaloids (stachidrine, betonicine, betaine), coline & tannins

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