White Nancy Spotted Dead Nettle flowers

White Nancy Spotted Dead Nettle flowers

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

White Nancy Spotted Dead Nettle in bloom

White Nancy Spotted Dead Nettle in bloom

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height: 8 inches

Spread: 24 inches


Hardiness Zone: 2a

Other Names: Deadnettle, Creeping Lamium

Ornamental Features

White Nancy Spotted Dead Nettle has masses of beautiful spikes of white flowers rising above the foliage from mid spring to early fall, which are most effective when planted in groupings. Its attractive oval leaves remain silver in color with distinctive forest green edges throughout the season. The fruit is not ornamentally significant.

Landscape Attributes

White Nancy Spotted Dead Nettle is a dense herbaceous perennial with a ground-hugging habit of growth. Its relatively fine texture sets it apart from other garden plants with less refined foliage.

This is a high maintenance plant that will require regular care and upkeep, and can be pruned at anytime. It is a good choice for attracting butterflies to your yard, but is not particularly attractive to deer who tend to leave it alone in favor of tastier treats. Gardeners should be aware of the following characteristic(s) that may warrant special consideration;

  • Spreading

White Nancy Spotted Dead Nettle is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Mass Planting
  • Border Edging
  • Groundcover
  • Container Planting

Planting & Growing

White Nancy Spotted Dead Nettle will grow to be about 8 inches tall at maturity, with a spread of 24 inches. Its foliage tends to remain low and dense right to the ground. It grows at a fast rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 10 years.

This plant does best in partial shade to shade. It is an amazingly adaptable plant, tolerating both dry conditions and even some standing water. It is considered to be drought-tolerant, and thus makes an ideal choice for a low-water garden or xeriscape application. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments. This is a selected variety of a species not originally from North America. It can be propagated by division; however, as a cultivated variety, be aware that it may be subject to certain restrictions or prohibitions on propagation.

White Nancy Spotted Dead Nettle is a fine choice for the garden, but it is also a good selection for planting in outdoor pots and containers. Because of its spreading habit of growth, it is ideally suited for use as a ‘spiller’ in the ‘spiller-thriller-filler’ container combination; plant it near the edges where it can spill gracefully over the pot. Note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.

Several cultivars of spotted deadnettle in bloom.

Spotted deadnettle, Lamium maculatum, is one of about 50 species in the type genus for the mint family (Lamiaceae) native to Europe, temperate western Asia and North Africa. The common name of “deadnettle” refers to the resemblance of the leaves to stinging nettles, but without the sting (therefore “dead”). This prostrate, herbaceous perennial is hardy in zones 3-8.

This near-evergreen plant (at least in mild climates) is generally a low (6-9 inches tall), spreading plant, but sometimes becomes mounded. The plants branch only at the base with the square, hollow trailing stems rooting as they spread to form a dense mat. The opposite leaves are toothed, pointed oval to triangular to heart-shaped, and can grow to over 3” long on petioles up to 1½ inches long. The downy to softly hairy leaves, which are unpleasantly scented when bruised, are green with a white or silver stripe down the midvein, or other markings or variegation in various cultivars. Leaf size, shape, variegation and hairiness is quite variable.

The opposite leaves (L) vary in shape, size and markings (LC and RC) and the amount of hairs on the leaves (R).

Spotted deadnettle blooms prolifically in late spring to early summer.

A bumblebee pushes into a spotted deadnettle flower.

Spotted deadnettle blooms prolifically from late spring to early summer and continues sporadically into fall, attracting bees, especially bumblebees. The flowers occur in leafy heads (verticillasters) formed at nodes on the upper half to upper third of the stems and terminals, but not on all stems. Each inflorescence has 2-8 widely spaced pink to purple, or sometimes white, two-lipped flowers, up to ¾” long. The upper lips of the flowers are hood or helmet-shaped, like a roof over the stamens with their orange pollen, while the bisected lower lips are often whitish with purple dots (but vary by cultivar).

Whorls (L) of buds (LC) open along the stems (C), with individual flowers typical of the mint family with an upper “hood” and bisected lower lip (RC) with the hood covering the stamens (viewed from below, R).

Flowers are followed by small, inconspicuous fruits hidden by the leafy parts of the inflorescence that start out green and change to brown as they mature. Each fruit is comprised of four nutlets, or one-seeded sections.

The leafy whorls of inflorescences hide the inconspicuous dry fruits (L) which change from green (LC) to brown (RC). The individual nutlets or seeds (R).

Spotted deadnettle can cover large areas quickly as a groundcover.

This plant is typically used as a groundcover in shady areas, and can cover large areas quickly. Since it is adaptable to a variety of light regimes, it is an ideal plant to use in transition areas between shade and sun. It fills in nicely between other, larger or more upright perennials such as ostrich or cinnamon fern, bleeding heart, hellebore, goatsbeard (Aruncus dioicus), Brunnera macrophylla, Japanese forest grass (Hakonechloa macra),

L. maculatum combines well with hostas.

or medium to large hostas, but is often too vigorous to site near shorter perennials which it tends to overrun (although it is easy to cut back or pull off wayward stems throughout the growing season to prevent this from happening, if desired). It works well to cover dying bulb foliage and smothers many weeds. Try growing several varieties with different leaf colors together or in combination with sweet woodruff, Galium odoratum, as a tapestry for an interesting underplanting beneath small trees or around roses.

Stems of this vigorous plant may need to be removed to prevent it from overruning smaller perennials.

Since it has a relatively fine texture, combine it with plants with large leaves for textural contrast, and dark-leaved plants such as coral bells (Heuchera, various cultivars) or black snakeroot (Cimicifuga racemosa ‘Hillside Black Beauty’) for color contrast. It can also be used as an edger, but will have to be cut back regularly to keep it in bounds. It can be used as a “spiller” in hanging baskets or containers.

Spotted deadnettle grows best in part shade — especially the silver types.

Lamium maculatum grows best in part shade (especially for silver types which often need more light to maintain their color) or shade in moist, humus-rich, well-drained soil, but in our climate will even grow in full sun. Although it does best in moist conditions it is drought tolerant and will grow in dry shade, but does not thrive in compacted or poorly drained soils, and many varieties suffer winter injury in wet soils. In hot and humid climates the foliage may decline in midsummer; plants may be cut back or sheared to stimulate new growth. It has few pest problems and is not favored by deer or rabbits. Crown or stem rot can occur when the soil remains too wet.

This plant is easy to propagate at any time during the growing season from cuttings of basal stems (not flowering stems) or by division. It roots where the stems touch the ground and once established these can be cut from the original plant and easily moved. It will also self-seed, although the cultivars will not come true from seed, and if volunteers are not removed (which can be challenging for the silver-striped varieties which can initially look very similar to the original plants) they may overtake the parents. Plants will spread indefinitely to fill a large area, so spacing is not that important, unless quick coverage is desired.

Spotted deadnettle roots at nodes (L) so is easy to divide and also self-seeds (R).

Some common cultivars include:

  • L. maculatum ‘Beedham’s White’

    ‘Album’ – has dark green leaves with a slight amount of silver in the center and white flowers. It was highly ranked in a Chicago Botanical Garden field trial of deadnettles.

  • ‘Anne Greenaway’ – has tricolored leaves, dark green edged in chartreuse and a silver stripe down the center, and light purple-pink flowers.
  • ‘Aureum’ – has light centered, yellow-green leaves and pale pink flowers.
  • ‘Beacon Silver’ – has silvery gray leaves with thin green edges and dark lavender flowers. It was introduced by Beth Chatto in 1976 who received it from a customer.
  • ‘Beedham’s White’ – has bright yellow foliage with a white stripe and white flowers, but is less florific than many other varieties and can be susceptible to winter dieout in moist soils.
  • L. maculatum ‘Chequers’

    ‘Chequers’ – is a vigorous variety with green leaves that each have a prominent silver stripe down the center and dark pink flowers.

  • ‘Cosmopolitan’ – is a miniature sport of ‘Shell Pink’ introduced by Walters Gardens with very small, nearly all-silver leaves. Its compact habit makes it particularly useful in combination containers where it won’t overrun all the other plants in the container.
  • ‘Orchid Frost’ (Plant Patent #11,122) – has blue-green leaves with a silver midvein and orchid-pink flowers. It is supposedly more vigorous and resistant to foliar diseases than other varieties.
  • L. maculatum ‘Pink Nancy’

    ‘Pink Nancy’ – has silver leaves with thin green margins and pale pink flowers.

  • ‘Pink Pewter’ – has small, ruffled silver-gray leaves with narrow green margins and deep salmon-pink flowers.
  • Purple ChablisTM and Pink Chablis® – have silvery gray leaves edged with dark green and lavender-purple or light pink flowers.
  • ‘Purple Dragon’ – has larger pink-purple flowers than most other cultivars and small silver leaves with a wide green edge.
  • ‘Red Nancy’ – has silver leaves with thin green margins, red-tinged stems (although color intensity varies throughout the growing season), and deep purple-pink flowers held well above the foliage. It was the best performer in the group of cultivars with predominantly silver foliage in a Chicago Botanical Garden field trial of deadnettles.

L. maculatum ‘Pink Pewter’

L. maculatum ‘Red Nancy’

L. maculatum ‘Shell Pink’

L. maculatum ‘White Nancy’

  • ‘Roseum’ – has dark green leaves with a central silver stripe and rosy-pink flowers.
  • ‘Shell Pink’ – has clear pink blossoms. It was the best performer of the group of four cultivars with green leaves with a silver stripe in the midrib evaluated by the Chicago Botanic Garden, and the only plant in the dead nettle trial to receive a five-star excellent rating.
  • ‘White Nancy’ – has silvery-white leaves with thin greenish margins and white flowers. Some report it is not as vigorous as other cultivars, and the foliage can be scorched if grown in full sun.

– Susan Mahr, University of Wisconsin – Madison

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Spotted Dead Nettle ‘White Nancy’



Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Partial to Full Shade



Good Fall Color

Foliage Color:



6-12 in. (15-30 cm)


9-12 in. (22-30 cm)


USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 °C (-40 °F)

USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 °C (-35 °F)

USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 °C (-30 °F)

USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 °C (-25 °F)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 °C (-20 °F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 °C (-15 °F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 °C (-10 °F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 °C (-5 °F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 °C (0 °F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 °C (5 °F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 °C (10 °F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 °C (15 °F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 °C (20 °F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 °C (25 °F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 °C (30 °F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 °C (35 °F)

Where to Grow:

Grow outdoors year-round in hardiness zone

Can be grown as an annual



Bloom Color:

White/Near White

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown – Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown – Tell us

Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer

Other details:

Unknown – Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

7.9 to 8.5 (alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

By dividing the rootball

From herbaceous stem cuttings

Seed Collecting:

Unknown – Tell us


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Clayton, California

Sacramento, California

San Diego, California

Walnut Creek, California

Brookfield, Connecticut

East Canaan, Connecticut

North Grosvenordale, Connecticut

Old Lyme, Connecticut

Milton, Florida

Seffner, Florida

Barnesville, Georgia

Mount Prospect, Illinois

Round Lake, Illinois

Indianapolis, Indiana

Macy, Indiana

Inwood, Iowa

Rolla, Kansas

Pollock, Louisiana

Revere, Massachusetts

Uxbridge, Massachusetts

Hastings, Michigan

Plainwell, Michigan

Scottville, Michigan

Lake City, Minnesota

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Saint Paul, Minnesota

Kirksville, Missouri

Saint Louis, Missouri

Himrod, New York

Tonawanda, New York

West Babylon, New York

Dayton, Ohio

Grove City, Ohio

Painesville, Ohio

Tipp City, Ohio

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Portland, Oregon

Lewisburg, Pennsylvania

New Freedom, Pennsylvania

Parkesburg, Pennsylvania

Warminster, Pennsylvania

Summerville, South Carolina

Crossville, Tennessee

Plantersville, Texas

Salt Lake City, Utah

Williston, Vermont

Leesburg, Virginia

Spotsylvania, Virginia

Seattle, Washington

Muscoda, Wisconsin

Oconomowoc, Wisconsin

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