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Marsh Woundwort - Stachys palustris
Family - Labiatae, Also known as -
All-Heal, Clown's Woundwort, Downy Woundwort

A hairy perennial plant of shady spots in marshes, bogs, pond margins and damp places growing to 1m (3.25ft) from a creeping rhizome, found over Europe, Asia and North America.  Flowering June through to September (maturing to a small nut), in whorls of six or ten at the base of leaf-like bracts, 13-15mm (0.5-0.75in) long, claret or dark red colouration with whitish markings, upper lip hooded and the lower lip subdivided into three lobes, the middle being the largest and and un-notched.  Calyx with five near-equal teeth.  Leaves are oblong lanceolate unstalked alternate opposite 4-9cm (1.6-3.5in) long, narrow on stalks 2-6cm (0.8-2.3in).  Reputed to have a rather unpleasant smell when crushed.

Differing from Hedge Woundwort - S. sylvatica in habitats, they can nevertheless hybridise where possible.  Preparations of Marsh Woundwort were used as a sedative and styptic.  A member of the mint family it has only a very slight smell, unlike Hedge Woundwort which gives off a very strong odour.

FBCP do not advise or recommend that any part of Marsh Woundwort - Stachys palustris is eaten or used as a herbal remedy.   In past times Marsh Woundwort was eaten, the bulb like swellings at the ends of the rhizomes were boiled, dried and used in making bread.

Marsh Woundwort - Stachys palustris, click for a larger image Marsh Woundwort - Stachys palustris Marsh Woundwort - Stachys palustris
Click two photos above for a larger image
Photos ©2004

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