This little herb is often overlooked but it’s so much fun I highlight at every chance I get.
Lamium album is actually a member of the mint family (Lamium). We can tell this, because of it’s stem. Yes, have a closer look at it’s stem next time you see it. Feel it between your fingers and you will notice it is flat and square shaped! We can see this if we cut the stem too.
But many of us go by the humble white dead nettle without a second thought, because it looks very similar to common stinging nettles and often grows amoungst them. In fact, many think they are one and the same! Luckily, mixing these two plants up won’t kill you, but it goes to show how much identification work is really needed to stay safe and accurate.
Unlike nettles, dead nettles do not sting you and they have large prominent orchid like flowers you can easily see at a glance.
Unlike Mint, deadnettles don’t taste of anything nice and minty. I often describe the taste as simply “green”. But as a filler for stir fry greens or other mixes they do all right.
It’s these lovely little white flowers that we are after in particular. If you are careful, and pick the flower from as close to the plant as possible, you get a good amount of the nectar inside there. These flowers (I kid you not) taste like mushrooms. First they taste of not much in particular, and then if you picked them carefully enough, you get an after taste develop that is dinstinctly mushroomy. This makes them a brilliant savoury garnish to really amp up your cooking presentation game. My go to dish for these beauties is mushroom risotto. PERFECT.
If you want to learn more about identifying Lamium ALbum you can check out our beginners foraging video course on Udemy.