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Large-flowered Hemp-nettle

Galeopsis speciosa

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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Lamiaceae (Dead-nettle)
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
1 metre tall
Fields, meadows, riverbanks, wasteland, waterside, woodland.

Yellow, 2 petals
Hairy white flowers with pale yellow patches. The lower lip is 3-lobed. The central lobe is purple. Green sepals. 4 stamens. Flowers measure between 2 and 4.5cm across. Pollinated by insects.
A brown and shiny, 4-parted fruit.
Opposite, stalked, oval but pointed leaves. The leaf margins are sharply-toothed. Square-angled stems. Usually found growing in crop fields, in particular potato fields with peaty soil.
Other Names:
Bee Hemp-nettle, Bee-nettle, Cut-leaved Hemp-nettle, Edmonton Hempnettle, Large Hemp-nettle, Showy Hemp-nettle.
Frequency (UK):
Occasionally seen  

Other Information


Galeopsis speciosa, also known as the cut-leaved hemp-nettle or the showy hemp-nettle, is a species of perennial herb in the Lamiaceae family. It is native to Europe. The plant can grow up to 1 meter 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. They are characterized by being deeply divided, giving the plant its name. Galeopsis speciosa 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 respiratory problems, skin conditions and fever. However, it is not a source of THC, the primary psychoactive component of marijuana.


Large-flowered hemp-nettle (Galeopsis speciosa) is a herbaceous plant that belongs to the family Lamiaceae. This plant is native to Europe and western Asia and is known for its beautiful large flowers that can range in color from pink to purple. In this blog, we will discuss the various aspects of this plant, including its physical characteristics, habitat, cultivation, and uses.

Physical Characteristics

Large-flowered hemp-nettle is a perennial plant that can grow up to a height of 100 cm. It has a sturdy stem with branches that grow from the base of the plant. The leaves of the plant are simple, and the upper leaves are sessile, while the lower leaves have petioles. The leaves are ovate to lanceolate in shape and have a serrated margin.

The flowers of the plant are arranged in verticillasters, which are groups of flowers that grow in a circular pattern around the stem. The flowers are large, tubular, and have a two-lipped corolla. The color of the flowers can vary from pink to purple, and they bloom from June to September.


Large-flowered hemp-nettle is found in open grasslands, meadows, and roadsides in Europe and western Asia. It prefers well-drained soils and can grow in full sun or partial shade.


Large-flowered hemp-nettle can be grown from seed or by division. It prefers well-drained soils and can grow in full sun or partial shade. The plant is easy to grow and requires minimal care.


Large-flowered hemp-nettle has several medicinal uses. It is believed to have anti-inflammatory and diuretic properties and has been used to treat bladder and kidney problems. The plant has also been used to treat coughs, colds, and fever.

In addition to its medicinal uses, large-flowered hemp-nettle is also used in the food industry. The leaves of the plant can be eaten raw or cooked, and they are rich in vitamins and minerals.

Large-flowered hemp-nettle is a beautiful plant that has several medicinal and culinary uses. It is easy to grow and can be cultivated in a variety of settings. Its large, colorful flowers make it an attractive addition to any garden or landscape.

More Information

Large-flowered hemp-nettle is also an important plant for pollinators, such as bees and butterflies. The flowers of the plant produce nectar and pollen, which are a valuable food source for these insects.

However, despite its benefits, large-flowered hemp-nettle is also considered a weed in some areas. It can spread quickly and compete with native plant species. Therefore, it is important to monitor its growth and prevent it from becoming invasive.

In terms of conservation, large-flowered hemp-nettle is classified as a species of Least Concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). However, its populations have declined in some areas due to habitat loss and fragmentation.

Large-flowered hemp-nettle has also been studied for its potential use in phytoremediation. This is the process of using plants to remove pollutants from the environment. Studies have shown that large-flowered hemp-nettle can effectively remove heavy metals, such as lead, from contaminated soil.

Additionally, the plant has been used in traditional medicine for centuries. In Europe, it was used to treat a range of ailments, including respiratory problems, digestive issues, and skin conditions. It was also used as a natural sedative.

In modern times, large-flowered hemp-nettle is not as commonly used in medicine as it once was. However, research is ongoing to explore its potential medicinal properties further.

Large-flowered hemp-nettle is also used in the production of essential oils. The oil is extracted from the leaves and flowers of the plant and is used in aromatherapy and perfumery. It has a sweet, floral scent and is said to have a calming effect on the mind and body.

Large-flowered hemp-nettle is also used in the production of natural dyes. The flowers of the plant contain pigments that can be used to create shades of pink, purple, and blue. These dyes have been used for centuries and are still used today in textile production.

Moreover, large-flowered hemp-nettle is an important plant for soil health. It is a nitrogen fixer, which means it can convert atmospheric nitrogen into a form that is usable by plants. This process helps to enrich the soil and improve plant growth.

In terms of its cultural significance, large-flowered hemp-nettle has been used in folklore and mythology. In some cultures, it was believed to have magical powers and was used in love spells and other rituals.

Despite its many benefits, large-flowered hemp-nettle is not without its challenges. In some areas, it is considered a noxious weed and can compete with native plant species. It is important to manage its growth and prevent it from spreading to new areas.

In conclusion, large-flowered hemp-nettle is a remarkable plant with a long history of human use. Its ecological, cultural, and economic importance make it a valuable resource. As we continue to learn more about its properties and potential uses, it is likely that this plant will remain an important part of our natural and cultural heritage.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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