The Chicago Botanic Garden has evaluated 21 different dead nettles (Lamium) over the past six years to determine the best varieties in their USDA zone 5 climate. Lamium is a colorful shade or part-sun perennial that grows well on moist, well-drained soils in USDA hardiness zones 4 to 8. Different varieties offer a range of flower colors from white to red, variegated leaves, and a low-growing, creeping habit that makes it a widely adapted ground cover.
The trials evaluated the Lamium varieties for general health and habit, flower coverage, length of flowering, pest and disease resistance and cultural adaptability. Flower production, length of flowering and adaptability to moist soil were the defining factors separating excellent and average performers.
The top-performers were Lamium maculatum 'Album', Lamium m. 'Beedham's White', Lamium m. 'Red Nancy', and Lamium m. 'Shell Pink'. Other Lamium species that performed well include Lamium album 'Friday', Lamium orvala 'Album' and Lamium orvala 'Silva'.
For more information on this study, contact the Chicago Botanic Garden Web site at: www.chicagobotanic.org/pr/press04/Lamium.html
Photography courtesy of South Dakota State University