Purple Dead Nettle: The Wild Food in Your Backyard



It’s amazing how many wild and free foods are available to us. You may be surprised to hear that many of the scornful weeds you have growing in your backyard are edible and medicinal.

Before you head out to  start nibbling, let’s make sure you have all the information you need about this beautiful wild plant. That includes what purple dead nettle is, its identifying characteristics, how to forage it, its medicinal benefits, and more.

What Is Purple Dead Nettle?

Purple dead nettle is an annual weed found in many people’s backyards. It’s an opportunistic plant that loves to follow human inhabitants and form patches in low, moist areas in fields and lawns.

How to Identify Purple Dead Nettle

Purple dead nettle is one of the first plants to emerge in early spring and likes to grow in moist areas in light shade to full sun. It’s often found in fields, lawns, near roadsides, and meadows.

Purple Dead Nettle Look-Alikes

Henbit is closely related to purple dead nettle as it’s in the same genus. The main difference between the two is that henbit’s flowers protrude up and away from the stem, and its upper leaves grow so close together they seem to form a circle around the upper stem.

Foraging &  Harvesting

Both the leaves and the flowers of purple dead nettle are edible. Harvest the young purple tops before and while it’s flowering. The lower leaves and stems are fibrous; the top few inches of young growth are tender and more tasty.

Swipe up to read the full article.