Much loved by long tongued insects such as bumblebees and red mason bees, especially in early spring when it is amongst the first to flower. It provides essential early nourishment, when food is still scarce for many pollinators. The leaves provide food for caterpillars of white ermine, garden tiger and also angle shades moths.
As early nourishment for wild life and humans alike, dead nettles are an essential part of any nature friendly edible perennial forage/forest garden. It copes well with light shade or full sun and is very hardy and resilient.
As an annual it self seeds readily and provides wonderful texture and colour from its flowers from March through to October. To support this plant to spread in your garden, cut off the seed heads once they have died back and place them around your garden on disturbed clear patches of soil.
Wash well before use
Use raw in a salad, or add to cooking in place of leafy veg like spinach. Can be used as a potherb in stews or soups and pairs well with other common potherbs like thyme, rosemary, bay and sage.