Hedge woundwort

Hedge Woundwort

©Philip Precey

Hedge woundwort

Scientific name: Stachys sylvatica
The unpleasant, astringent smell of Hedge woundwort makes this medium-sized plant of woodlands, hedgerows and roadside verges stand out from the crowd.

Species information


Height: up to 75cm

Conservation status


When to see

June to October


Growing in woodlands and along hedgerows and roadside verges, Hedge woundwort is a common, perhaps unremarkable, plant with one defining feature - its unpleasant and astringent smell. This smell is particularly apparent when the plant is crushed. Magenta flowers appear between June and October and are pollinated by bees. Once the seed is dispersed, the plant also spreads vigorously using its underground rhizomes (stems).

How to identify

Hedge woundwort has hairy stems that bear whorls of 'hooded', magenta-pink flowers with white markings. Its hairy leaves are dark green, heart-shaped and toothed.



Did you know?

The Bronze shield bug can often be found feeding on Hedge woundwort.

How people can help

The Wildlife Trusts work closely with farmers and landowners to ensure that our wildlife is protected and to promote wildlife-friendly practices. By working together, we can create Living Landscapes: networks of habitats stretching across town and country that allow wildlife to move about freely and people to enjoy the benefits of nature. Support this greener vision for the future by joining your local Wildlife Trust.