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Bifid Hemp-nettle

Galeopsis bifida

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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Lamiaceae (Dead-nettle)
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
50 centimetres tall
Fens, fields, gardens, heathland, meadows, riverbanks, roadsides, rocky places, wasteland, waterside, woodland.

Pink, 2 petals
The flowers are pinkish-purple and appear in whorls up the stem. The flowers are borne in the leaf axils. Pale yellow flowers are rare. Similar to Common Hemp-nettle (Galeopsis tetrahit) but that has larger flowers and the lower lip is not lobed. The lower lip has darker markings present. 4 stamens.
A brown, 4-parted and shiny fruit.
An annual flower with oval to lance-shaped leaves. The leaves are toothed and stalked. They measure up to 5 inches (13cm) long. The leaves appear in opposite pairs up the stem. Both the leaves and flowers are hairy.
Other Names:
Common Hemp-nettle, Large-flowered Hemp-nettle, Splitlip Hemp-nettle, Two-lipped Hemp-nettle.
Frequency (UK):
Occasionally seen  

Similar Species

Other Information


Galeopsis bifida, also known as the two-lipped hemp-nettle, is a species of perennial herb in the Lamiaceae family. It is native to Europe and Asia. The plant can grow up to 50 centimeters tall and has small, yellow or pinkish-purple flowers. The leaves are green and have a rough texture, and are arranged alternately along the stem. Galeopsis bifida is commonly found in damp, shady habitats such as meadows, woods, and along riverbanks. It is known for its medicinal properties and has been traditionally used to treat a wide range of ailments, including wounds, fever, and digestive issues. The plant also has a long history of use as a diuretic, and it is also sometimes used as a substitute for marijuana. However, it is not a source of THC, the primary psychoactive component of marijuana.


Bifid hemp-nettle, or Galeopsis bifida, is a plant species that belongs to the family Lamiaceae. It is a herbaceous annual plant that is native to Europe and Asia, but can also be found in North America as an introduced species. In this blog post, we will explore the characteristics, uses, and conservation status of this fascinating plant.

Characteristics of Bifid Hemp-nettle

Bifid hemp-nettle is a small plant that usually grows up to 50 cm tall. It has a square stem with fine hairs, and its leaves are opposite, simple, and ovate. The flowers of this plant are two-lipped and pinkish-purple, arranged in whorls in the upper part of the stem. They bloom from June to September and are pollinated by bees and butterflies. The fruit of bifid hemp-nettle is a small nutlet that contains four seeds.

Uses of Bifid Hemp-nettle

Bifid hemp-nettle has been used in traditional medicine for a long time. It has been known to have anti-inflammatory, antipyretic, and diuretic properties. It has also been used to treat respiratory ailments such as bronchitis, coughs, and asthma. The plant contains several compounds, including alkaloids, flavonoids, and phenolic acids, which are responsible for its medicinal properties.

Conservation Status of Bifid Hemp-nettle

Bifid hemp-nettle is listed as a species of least concern on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List. However, its populations have declined in some parts of its native range due to habitat loss and fragmentation, as well as agricultural activities. The plant is also considered a weed in some areas where it has been introduced, such as North America. Conservation efforts are needed to protect the remaining populations of bifid hemp-nettle and prevent its further decline.

Bifid hemp-nettle is a small but important plant species that has been used in traditional medicine for its medicinal properties. Although it is currently listed as a species of least concern, its populations have declined in some areas due to human activities. Efforts should be made to protect and conserve the remaining populations of bifid hemp-nettle and prevent its further decline.

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Bifid hemp-nettle is also known for its ecological role in providing nectar and pollen to bees and other pollinators. In fact, the plant is considered an important source of nectar for honeybees in some regions of Europe. Its seeds also serve as food for birds and small mammals.

In addition to its medicinal and ecological value, bifid hemp-nettle has been used for other purposes as well. For example, the plant has been used as a dye in the past, with its leaves and stems producing a yellow-green color. It has also been used as a fiber plant, with its stems being processed to make ropes and cords.

Despite its many uses and benefits, bifid hemp-nettle is often overlooked and considered a weed by many people. However, it is important to recognize the value of this plant species and take steps to protect and conserve it for future generations. This can be done through measures such as habitat restoration, reducing the use of herbicides in areas where the plant grows, and educating the public about its ecological and medicinal value.

One interesting aspect of bifid hemp-nettle is its relationship with other plant species. In some regions where it grows, the plant is known to form mutualistic relationships with mycorrhizal fungi, which help the plant absorb nutrients from the soil. In turn, the plant provides the fungi with sugars produced during photosynthesis. This mutualistic relationship is an example of the intricate web of connections that exist in natural ecosystems.

Bifid hemp-nettle also has cultural significance in some regions where it grows. For example, in parts of Europe, the plant is associated with St. John's Day, which falls on June 24th. It is believed that the plant blooms around this time of year because of its association with St. John, who is often depicted holding a pinkish-purple flower in Christian iconography.

Finally, bifid hemp-nettle serves as a reminder of the incredible diversity of plant species that exist on our planet. Although it may seem small and unremarkable at first glance, this plant has many unique characteristics and benefits that are worth exploring and appreciating. By taking the time to learn about and protect plants like bifid hemp-nettle, we can deepen our understanding of the natural world and work towards a more sustainable future.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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