Tuesday 21 May
Red hemp-nettle (Galeopsis angustifolia)
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Red hemp-nettle fact file
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Red hemp-nettle description
Red hemp-nettle is covered in soft hairs, and has narrow, weakly toothed leaves which occur in opposite pairs on the stem (4). It produces flowers in small whorls on the stem, which are dark red or pinkish in colour with yellow flecks on the lower lip (4).
- Height: 10-80 cm (2)
Red hemp-nettle biologyTop
Red hemp-nettle range
Formerly widespread throughout lowland England, Wales and eastern Scotland, this plant suffered a severe decline in range after 1930 (5). It is now scarce in Great Britain, and mainly occurs in central southern England (5). This species is considered by some to be a native in some parts of Britain where it occurs in natural habitats such as coastal shingle or limestone screes, and by others as an ancient introduction (5). It is rare in north-western Europe, and also occurs in central, western and southern Europe, reaching east to Bulgaria and Poland (3).Top
Red hemp-nettle habitat
Once a locally common weed of arable land, it is now rarely seen. It occurs on roadsides, tracks, waste ground, spoil heaps, limestone scree and limestone pavements, and occasionally grows on sand and shingle on the coasts of southern England and Wales (3) (5). The species shows a preference for sunny locations with fairly open vegetation and free-draining calcareous soils (3) (5).Top
Red hemp-nettle status
Classified as Nationally Scarce in Great Britain (3).Top
Red hemp-nettle threats
Most of the factors affecting this species involve changes in agricultural practices, including the use of chemical herbicides and fertilisers, sowing crops in autumn before red-hemp nettle has a chance to set seed, and the introduction of crops that have very high productivity (3). Some shingle sites are threatened by coastal development (2).Top
Red hemp-nettle conservation
This species is one of 15 arable plants listed on the UK Biodiversity Action Plan priority list (6). The Species Action Plan aims to enhance the current range by restoring populations to eight former sites by 2003, and set up
Find out more
Visit the website of the Botanical Society of the British Isles at:
Information authenticated by Tim Rich of the National Museums and Galleries of Wales.Top
- Lives or grows for just one year.
- Containing free calcium carbonate, chalky.
- Measures to conserve a species or habitat that occur outside of the natural range of the species. E.g. in zoos or botanical gardens.
- In plants, petal or petals that form a lobe.
- In animals, the spiral or convolutions in the shell of a snail. In plants, a set of leaves, flowers, or branches that spring from a stem at the same point and encircle it.
- National Biodiversity Network Species Dictionary (October, 2002)
- Clapham, A.R., Tutin, T.G. and Warburg, E.F. (1961) Flora of the British Isles 2nd Ed. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
- UK BAP Species Action Plan (March, 2002)
- Press, B. and Gibbons, B. (1993) Photographic field guide: wild flowers of Britain and Europe. New Holland Ltd., London.
- Preston, C.D., Pearman, D.A. and Dines, T.D. (2002) New Atlas of the Flora of Britain and Ireland. Oxford University Press, London.
- English Nature press release (March, 2002)
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