* Red dead nettle is often referred to as purple dead nettle or purple archangel. The “purple” comes from the flower color, whereas the “red” comes from the color of the upper leaves. “Dead nettle” refers to the fact that, unlike a true nettle, it does not sting. In other words, it is “dead.”
** The plant can produce flowers almost any time of year, including the winter in mild years. Because it is one of the first plants to bloom, it can be an important food source for bees, producing both nectar and pollen. The pollen is an unmistakable bright red color. The pollen is an unmistakable bright red color. It is also a prominent source of pollen for bees in March/April when the insects need the pollen as protein to build up their nests.
* This annual plant can reach 18 inches high, although it usually peaks at about 12 inches. It is found along roadsides, in cultivated fields, in lawns, and in other disturbed areas. The plant is edible and known to be high in antioxidants; The taste is so-so
** Traditional medicinal uses of Red Dead Nettle
The whole plant is astringent, diaphoretic, diuretic, purgative and styptic.
The dried leaves have been used as a poultice to stem hemorrhaging whilst the fresh bruised leaves can be applied to external cuts and wounds. The leaves may also be made into a tea and drunk to promote perspiration and discharge from the kidneys in the treatment of chills.
Recipe for Purple Dead Nettle Pesto Pasta Primavera: http://blogs.poughkeepsiejournal.com/dishnthat/2013/04/24/purple-dead-nettles-make-a-mean-spring-pesto/