Stachys bullata is a native perennial herb in the mint family. Despite its common name, it does not sting like true nettles. Instead, it offers a delicate, attractive flower nearly one to two inches long, pink to lavender in color, on an upright stem. When bruised its minty/soapy fragrance is always a surprise. It blooms from spring into early summer and is beneficial in pollinator gardens.
It tends to grow in riparian corridors, seeps, and along creeks in the wild. Hedgenettle requires little attention in flowerbeds that get some water, gently spreading and filling in spaces around other plants. During drought, it will survive by taking on a more diminutive form and not expanding its footprint. Sometimes it will die back early rather than struggle, returning after the first heavy rains.
This native attracts butterflies and hummingbirds for nectar; Checkerspot larvae use the foliage for food. Mix with Heuchera micrantha, Solomon’s Seal, Western Sword Fern, Redwood Sorrel, and Yerba Buena to add interest to your garden.
Flowering Time Spring, summer, fall
Fruiting Time Summer
Planting Time Late spring, early summer
Where to Plant Stream banks, pond margins, springs, bogs, seeps and drainage ditches
Soil and Light Tolerates a variety of soils, full shade, part shade
Companion Plants Willow, Cottonwood, Sycamore, Monkey Flower, Sage Brush, Stream Orchid
Wildlife Birds, moths, insects