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What is a dead nettle?

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Quick Answer

Dead nettle is a perennial flowering herb in the mint family used as ground cover because it spreads easily and has colorful flowers. The name "dead nettle" refers to its inability to sting, although its appearance is very similar to the stinging nettle, which does sting.

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Full Answer

Dead nettle prefers full shade but tolerates sun when given sufficient water. The plant grows well in USDA hardiness zones 3 to 8, where extreme low temperatures range from minus 20 degrees to 20 degrees above zero. The dead nettle flowers range from pink and purple to white with silver variegated leaves. Because of its similarity to the stinging nettle, rabbits avoid it; however, it produces lots of nectar for bumblebees and other insects.

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