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.

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