Hedge woundwort Stachys sylvatica

Also known as: knitbone

Best time to see: Jun to Oct

Key facts

Spikes of rose-purple flowers, common in shady woods and on hedge banks

Leaves heart-shaped, toothed, hairy, strong-smelling

Flowers rose-purple with pale blotches


Once used as a poultice to treat wounds because it slowed the bleeding

Marsh woundwort, found by fresh water, has narrower leaves and paler flowers

  • Main photo

Photo © Tony Gunton