Lamiastrum galeobdolon (Yellow Archangel)

Plant Info
Also known as: Yellow Deadnettle, Yellow Henbit
Family:Lamiaceae (Mint)
Life cycle:perennial
  • Weedy
Habitat:part shade, shade, sun; moist to dry disturbed soil; woods, woodland edges, ravines, shaded fields
Bloom season:May - June
Plant height:1 to 2 feet
Wetland Indicator Status:none
MN county distribution (click map to enlarge):Minnesota county distribution map
National distribution (click map to enlarge):National distribution map

Pick an image for a larger view. See the glossary for icon descriptions.

Detailed Information

Flower: Flower shape: irregular Flower shape: tubular Cluster type: whorled

[photo of flowers] Flowers are in whorls of 4 to 10 at the top of the plant and at leaf axils in the upper half of the stem. Individual flowers are ¾ to 1 inch long, light lemon yellow, irregular with 2 lips at the end of a tube up to 3/8 inch long. The broad upper lip is rounded like a hood, densely covered in short hairs and fringed with longer hairs all around the edge. The lower lip has 3 spreading lobes all about the same size, the center lobe streaked with darker orange-yellow. Inside the tube are 2 short and 2 long stamens, the long ones arching inside the upper lip. The calyx surrounding the base of the flower is about as long as the floral tube, hairy, and has 5 sharply pointed triangular lobes.

Leaves and stems: Leaf attachment: opposite Leaf type: simple

[photo of variegated leaf] Leaves are opposite, 1 to 3½ inches long, up to 2½ inches wide, hairy, coarsely toothed with rounded or pointed teeth, generally egg-shaped, straight across to heart-shaped at the base, blunt to pointed at the tip, on a hairy stalk up to about 1 inch long. The upper surface is either all green or variegated with silvery white spots; the lower surface is green or purple. Stems are erect, square, hairy especially along the angles and on the lower stem, green to purplish. Horizontal stems (stolons) are numerous, leafy and root at the nodes, forming dense mats; the stolons can grow 3 feet a year.

Fruit: Fruit type: seed without plume

[photo of fruit] The calyx persists and holds 4 nutlets, each containing a single seed.


Yellow Archangel, also known as Lamium galeobdolon, is a garden escapee that is not widespread in Minnesota (yet), but has been described as invasive in other areas of the US. It is likely already more widespread than the distribution map indicates—every year we get one or two ID requests for this species, typically found in wooded areas in or near parks or residential areas but where it doesn't appear to be intentionally planted. We first encountered it in a degraded woods somewhere in the Twin Cities, then again at the edge of a woodline about a mile from where it was first collected in Duluth back in 2008.

There are no Lamium species native to North America, but there are several introduced species (not counting the numerous cultivars) available in the nursery trade, all of which may escape cultivation. Henbit (Lamium amplexicaule) and Spotted Deadnettle (Lamium maculatum) have already arrived here; both also have variegated leaves but have pinkish-purple flowers rather than yellow. Henbit leaves are smaller (1 inch long or less) and more rounded, and Spotted Deadnettle leaves have a silvery stripe just along the midrib where Yellow Archangel leaves are up to 3½ inches long and variably spotted across the whole surface.

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More photos

Photos by Peter M. Dziuk taken in St. Louis County and in the Twin Cities metro area. Fruit photo by Paul Busselen, Biology Department, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Campus Kortrijk, Belgium.


Have you seen this plant in Minnesota, or have any other comments about it?

Posted by: Robin Fox - NW st paul
on: 2018-05-21 14:20:23

Found small but apparently very happy colony of Lamiastrum galeobdolon, in flower 5/21. Not apparently planted.

Posted by: Josh Martell - White bear lake
on: 2018-05-22 19:32:31

Identified a large patch of yellow archangel in my backyard. It's been there at least 2 years. Not sure if previous owners planted it or not.

Posted by: Kendra - Austin
on: 2018-05-26 18:07:41

At Hormel nature center

Posted by: TaylorSue Hanson - Mankato
on: 2018-10-08 22:57:51

Bought some for a biology project to see how they would handle harsh flooding conditions.

Posted by: Mike Palmquist - Minneapolis
on: 2019-05-22 08:41:35

There is a hillside lawn of yellow archangel on Queen Ave. south of the Trolley Station at the bandshell. They appear to be planted (?)...Minneapolis.

Posted by: Han Phillips - Roseville
on: 2019-06-02 00:41:57

A large patch in a shady part of our yard

Posted by: Joni Teschner - Tower MN
on: 2019-06-06 20:00:57

Multiple groups of yellow archangel growing in shaded area of our property/edge of woods, and neighbors yard as well. Not planted by either of us and have owned property 25+ years.

Posted by: Teresa stroot - Pillager
on: 2019-06-08 15:16:52

Very large patches of yellow archangel in the woods surrounding our lawn. We'd have lived here for a couple of years and it seems very well established and growing bigger every year.

Posted by: Kristin Markert - Minneapolis
on: 2020-05-19 07:03:20

I believe there is a patch in the woods across Bassett's Creek from the Fruen Mill in Minneapolis.

Posted by: Bill Brown - Grant
on: 2020-05-21 20:38:32

Found it in my yard. Working on a restoration.

Posted by: Ted Midthun - Oronoco
on: 2020-05-22 18:41:00

Several dense populations initially planted 20+ years ago. Working on eradication.

Posted by: Suzanne Elwell - Eagan
on: 2020-05-23 17:48:08

We have a healthy patch in an "undeveloped" area of the yard. It was there when we moved in 3 years ago. It spreads easily, but I weed it back to form discrete areas. It's nice ground cover and the flowers are pretty, but worry that it is invasive.

Posted by: anonynous - Burnsville
on: 2020-05-28 18:16:52

Recently moved to a property, where the ground cover in the entire backyard looks like intentional planting.

Posted by: Sam B - Apple Valley
on: 2020-06-01 23:56:00

Small patch found in mulched bed in backyard. May have been planted by previous owner? Will remove and try to eradicate.

Posted by: Sarah J - Cannon Falls
on: 2020-06-06 17:56:57

I just identified this in my backyard along with Viginia creeper. I have been pulling it up the last 3 years not knowing what it is. I may let it go a bit but keep an eye on it. The leaves are attractive. It is growing close to wooded area where not much elses grows well. House is 1910 so it could have been planted intentionally at some point.

Posted by: Bill Brown - Grant
on: 2020-06-11 16:30:02

Found a couple in a disturbed area of my yard. I let it be because it is kind of attractive but on second review realize I had better pull them.

Posted by: Brett W - Anoka
on: 2020-07-22 17:11:37

Large spot behind Anoka High School along the Anoka Rum River Trail. It's kind of a mess behind the school along that trail, sad.

Posted by: Carolyn and Jay Beck - Rochester MN
on: 2021-05-11 08:54:46

For the last few years in our wooded backyard, we had the foliage but no flowers. Now, in May 2021, we have the flowers as well. Really beautiful - fits right in - now part of the family.

Posted by: Constance Pepin - Minneapolis
on: 2021-07-04 16:51:06

I wish Minnesota Wildflowers would designate this plant as invasive and urge people to eradicate! It does so much damage in woodlands, including a huge patch in William Berry Woods in southwest Minneapolis, where it devastates the native plant community.

Posted by: M Knight - Inver Grove Heights
on: 2021-10-16 19:26:41

This stuff is awful; it smells bad and is super invasive. We moved into our home 5 years ago, and in that time while I started on buckthorn, and before I knew what this was, a small patch took over almost an acre of our woods. It's a lot more work to get rid of than buckthorn, too. Seriously, please, destroy it.

Posted by: Janet G - East Bethel/Northern Anoka County
on: 2022-05-21 22:25:54

So glad to finally identify this! It's been spreading in a small woods on our property. Our leaves don't look like those in photo #8, but are rounded as in the picture of the single leaf. It's a pretty ground cover, not very tall probably because it get very little sun, but it looks unnatural, like it should be an indoor house plant. Now I know that here in Minnesota, it doesn't belong.

Posted by: K Chayka
on: 2022-05-22 06:03:15

Janet, you should try to eradicate it from your woods before it crowds everything else out.

Posted by: Ruth - Chanhassen
on: 2022-07-01 03:01:07

Our yard backs up to a ravine and a city park. The previous owner must have planted the arch angel plant. I feel it is very invasive, grows well in our shady yard. I have noticed it moving into the woodlands, spreads quickly. I too worry about it taking over the natural plants.

Posted by: P. Comstock - Grant, Washington County
on: 2022-08-28 15:32:04

We planted this around our house on a 2-1/2 acre lot on recommendation from a professional landscape designer. MISTAKE. It is a hardy groundcover for partly shady areas that covers everything in a dense mat. But it started growing into our buckthorn-free woods, and we also noticed another population starting at the far end of our acreage, presumably from seed. We also learned that our neighbors had it and it had taken over his whole lot. Since then, we have been ripping it out. And, yes, as the above commentor says, it is more difficult to get rid of than buckthorn because you have to dig out the stolons. Please DO NOT PLANT, and ERADICATE what you have.

Posted by: Timothy Johnson - Stearns County
on: 2022-10-09 20:59:11

Saw a fairly large dense patch not far from the parking area of the Avon Hill (South Unit) SNA today. Looks like the DNR needs to get on this before it takes over the floor of this old growth oak, maple, basswood, ironwood forest.

Posted by: L. Ian - Minneapolis
on: 2023-03-25 03:48:41

This has been present underneath a fence covered in Virginia Creeper since I bought my house several years ago. Luckily, it seems the creeper competes very well with this plant (what doesn't it compete well with?) so it hasn't spread too much, but I will be working to get rid of it this summer.

Posted by: Donna Turner - Circle Pines
on: 2023-05-17 19:15:12

I have had this in my shade garden at my townhouse for at least 20 years if not longer. It has since spread into the small wooded area between my yard and the next townhouse building over. Mostly spread by seed rather than runners.

Posted by: K Chayka
on: 2023-05-18 06:36:43

Donna, regardless of how it spread, you should take responsibility for it escaping your yard and work on containing it.

Posted by: Kris H. - Austin
on: 2023-05-18 12:26:51

Just a note: If you find this plant in natural areas please report it on eddmaps! This plant is being evaluated as possibly being listed as invasive by the MDA and DNR. In order to do that we need to know how widespread it is. If you want to know more on up and coming invasives, I highly recommend the Forest Pest First Detector training through the U of M Extension. Found this guy in dense patches along the edges of the woods at Hormel Nature Center.

Posted by: Kelli F - New Brighton
on: 2023-05-19 20:36:21

Found this in my yard. We have a semi wooded lot. I'm assuming either the previous owners or our neighbors planted it. It's taken over a garden bed and another large area. This year I decided to go to war with it because it spreads everywhere. Digging it out is almost impossible because of all the stems. So I had to resort to chemicals (triclopyr). Seems to be working well, but will have to be diligent for some years I think.

Posted by: Marilynn Torkelson - Riley Creek Conservation Area Eden Prairie
on: 2023-11-12 11:26:57

This has spread from people's wooded backyards into the Riley Creek Conservation Area in huge swaths. It is very aggressive and has even managed to jump an 8 feet wide path.

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