Lamium galeobdolon

Tried and Trouble-free Recommended by 3 Professionals
Common Name: yellow archangel
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Lamiaceae
Native Range: Europe, western Asia
Zone: 4 to 9
Height: 1.00 to 2.00 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 2.00 feet
Bloom Time: June
Bloom Description: Yellow, flecked brown
Sun: Part shade to full shade
Water: Dry to medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Ground Cover
Flower: Showy
Leaf: Colorful
Tolerate: Deer, Drought, Heavy Shade, Erosion, Dry Soil, Shallow-Rocky Soil, Air Pollution

Culture

Easily grown in average, dry to medium moisture, well-drained soils in part shade to full shade. Best in medium moisture soils in part shade. Once established, it tolerates drought. Spreads by stem fragments, rooting at the nodes, creeping stems, and seed. It can be somewhat invasive in optimum growing conditions. Propagate by division or stem cuttings. Will self-seed in the garden, but cultivars may not come true to form. If plants become leggy, shear back to 4-6” or to new fresh basal leaves in order to shape plants and to promote new foliage growth.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Lamium galeobdolon, commonly known as yellow archangel or golden dead-nettle, is a stoloniferous spreading perennial of the mint family (opposite leaves and square stems) that typically grows to 9-15” tall but spreads by stem fragments, rooting at the nodes, and spreads to 18” wide or more. It is native to shaded woodlands, copses and thickets throughout much of Europe and western Asia. It has been introduced into parts of the U.S., often escaping into the wild where it persists and spreads as a weed, typically outcompeting native plants. It has been declared a non-regulated Class B noxious weed in parts of the State of Washington where it cannot now be legally sold.

Yellow archangel forms a loose mat of foliage which spreads indefinitely. Small, tubular, two-lipped, asymmetrical, yellow flowers (each to 3/4” long) bloom in 2-10 flowered verticillasters on short axillary stalks in late spring (April-June). Each flower has some reddish-brown markings on the lower lip. This plant trails along the ground by creeping runners (stolons) as a ground cover, but will climb in an almost vine-like manner over low growing vegetation and tree stumps, typically rooting in the ground at the nodes when they come in contact with the soil. Sprawling to erect stems are clad with toothed, ovate to rounded, cordate-based, medium to dark green leaves (1-3” long) with pointed tips. Leaves are aromatic when crushed. Leaves are sometimes variegated with silver-gray markings. Leaves are semi-evergreen in warm winter climates, but deciduous in the colder parts of the growing range.

Lamiastrum galeobdolon is a former name currently considered to be a synonym.

Genus name comes from the Greek laimos or lamos meaning throat in reference to the throat-like appearance of the corolla.

Specific epithet has several possible origins. It may come from the Latin words galeo meaning to cover with a helmet and dolon meaning a fly’s sting. On the other hand, it may come from the Greek words gale meaning weasel and bdolos meaning fetid smell (weasel-snout is a sometimes used common name for this plant).

Archangel is the primary common name for this plant in reference to the wing-like shape of the leaves.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems. Slugs and snails are occasional visitors. Leaf blight. Mites. Can spread invasively.

Garden Uses

Vigorous ground cover that is best for dry shady areas. Excellent cover for hillsides, slopes, or large open areas. Grows well in shady woodland borders. Perhaps too aggressive for inclusion in borders or formal garden areas.