Lamium maculatum

Lamium White Nancy

Lamium - sometimes known as 'dead nettle' - are excellent groundcover plants for shady spots. The foliage seems particularly good in winter. The glittering heart-shaped leaves of Lamium maculatum 'White Nancy' (ht 15 cm) are almost completely silver except for a narrow green margin, and it has crisp white hooded flowers in spring. This plant does enjoy some moisture in the soil but is tolerant of dry times. They are easily propagated by detaching rooted segments. The cultivar 'Beacon Silver' has mauve-pink flowers and 'Pink Pewter' has soft pink blooms. Flowers appear in spring and may continue through summer. These groundcovers are good companion plants for hybrid hellebores and snowflakes, which flower in late winter, and pretty Cape primroses (Streptocarpus cultivars), which flower in summer. They also form a pretty underplanting to spring-flowering shrubs such as Rhaphiolepis, Brunfelsia or Loropetalum.

There are some gorgeous gold-leaved versions of this Lamium, but though I have tried them a few times, I have never had any success with them. Perhaps they do better in a cooler climate than Sydney.

The flowers of Lamium maculatum are regarded as providing useful food sources for bees and moths.

Flowers in January, February, September, October, November.