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Field Woundwort

Stachys arvensis

Please keep in mind that it is illegal to uproot a plant without the landowner's consent and care should be taken at all times not to damage wild plants. Wild plants should never be picked for pleasure and some plants are protected by law.
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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Lamiaceae (Dead-nettle)
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
60 centimetres tall
Fields, gardens, grassland, roadsides, wasteland.

Pink, 4 petals
The flowers are in whorls around the leaf axils. The whorls are in clusters of up to 6. Hairy pinkish-purple flowers, measuring 6 to 8mm across.
The fruit is a brown, ovoid nutlet.
A hairy annual flower with oval, crinkly, bluntly-toothed leaves. The leaves are in opposite pairs up the erect, square-angled stem. The upper leaves are short-stalked. The leaves measure 2 to 3cm long.
Other Names:
Field Hedge-nettle, Field Nettle Betony, Field Stachys, Staggerweed.
Frequency (UK):
Occasionally seen  

Similar Species

Other Information


Stachys arvensis, commonly known as field hedge-nettle or field woundwort, is a species of perennial herb in the Lamiaceae family. It is native to Europe, Asia and North America, typically found in grasslands, waste places, and along roadsides. It has small, white or pink flowers that bloom in the summer and leaves that are opposite, simple and hairy. It is considered an invasive weed in some areas. It has been traditionally used in medicine and it has been used as a stimulant, tonic, diaphoretic, and diuretic. The plant has also been used in traditional medicine to treat a variety of ailments such as respiratory problems, digestive issues and menstrual cramps, but there is not enough scientific evidence to support its medicinal properties.


Field Woundwort (Stachys arvensis) is a common and hardy perennial herb that is native to Europe and Asia. It is commonly found in fields, meadows, and along roadsides. Field Woundwort is a plant that is often overlooked, but it is a valuable addition to any wildflower or herb garden.

The plant grows to about 60 cm (24 in) in height, producing spikes of small, purple flowers that bloom from June to September. The leaves of Field Woundwort are hairy and slightly sticky, with a crinkled appearance. The plant's stems are also hairy and a green-brown color.

One of the most interesting things about Field Woundwort is its medicinal properties. The plant has been used for centuries as a treatment for wounds, hence its common name. The plant contains compounds that have antibacterial and antiseptic properties, making it a useful herb for treating cuts, bruises, and other skin injuries. In fact, in medieval times, it was believed that Field Woundwort had magical powers that could heal wounds instantly.

In addition to its medicinal properties, Field Woundwort is also an important food source for pollinators such as bees and butterflies. The plant's flowers are a source of nectar and provide a valuable food source for insects in the summer months.

Field Woundwort is a hardy plant that is easy to grow and care for. It prefers full sun to partial shade and well-drained soil. The plant is also drought-tolerant, making it a great option for gardeners who live in areas with dry summers. Field Woundwort is also an excellent choice for wildlife gardens, as it provides food and habitat for a variety of wildlife species.

Field Woundwort is a versatile and undervalued plant that is well worth considering for any garden. Whether you're looking for a medicinal herb, a source of food for pollinators, or simply a beautiful and hardy addition to your garden, Field Woundwort is a plant that won't disappoint.

In addition to its medicinal and ecological benefits, Field Woundwort also has a rich cultural history. The plant was used by the ancient Greeks and Romans as a wound dressing and was often mentioned in folklore as a remedy for wounds caused by weapons in battles.

In traditional folklore, Field Woundwort was also believed to have protective properties and was often placed near the front door of a home to protect it from evil spirits. In some cultures, it was also believed that the plant could ward off witches and other supernatural creatures.

Another interesting fact about Field Woundwort is its relationship with moles. The plant is known to be a preferred food source for moles, and it is believed that the moles help to spread the plant's seeds by digging up the soil and exposing the seeds to light. This has helped Field Woundwort to become a common sight in many grasslands and meadows.

Field Woundwort is a fascinating plant with a rich history, medicinal properties, and ecological importance. Whether you're looking for a plant to add to your garden, or simply want to learn more about the natural world, Field Woundwort is a plant that is well worth exploring.

It's worth noting that Field Woundwort is considered an invasive species in some parts of the world, particularly in Australia and New Zealand. This is due to its ability to spread rapidly and displace native vegetation. If you are planning to grow Field Woundwort, it is important to monitor its growth and take steps to prevent it from spreading beyond its intended area.

If you're interested in using Field Woundwort for its medicinal properties, it's important to note that the plant should be used with caution. While the plant's antiseptic properties make it a useful treatment for wounds, it can also cause skin irritation in some people. In addition, Field Woundwort should never be used internally, as it can be toxic if ingested.

Finally, it's worth mentioning that Field Woundwort is a great option for gardeners who are looking for a low-maintenance plant. Once established, Field Woundwort requires very little care, making it an excellent choice for busy gardeners or those who want to create a natural-looking garden with minimal effort.

In conclusion, Field Woundwort is a plant with a rich cultural history, medicinal properties, ecological importance, and low-maintenance requirements. Whether you're looking for a plant to add to your garden, or simply want to learn more about the natural world, Field Woundwort is a fascinating and valuable plant that is well worth exploring.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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