A common flower of the hedgerow, hedge woundwort (Stachys sylvatica) stands tall and proud amongst its neighbours. It is a strong plant that can hold its own amid strong competition growing anything from one to three feet tall depending on surrounding vegetation. It can be found along Dorset's waysides from mid-June into August.
It is a labiate, the nettle family. It has no sting like its famous cousin despite having similar leaves and a square stem but the flowers are very different from the stinging nettle. The flowers come in purple spikes and more than once people on walks have asked me if it is an orchid.
Although the leaves give off an unpleasant, pungent smell when crushed they supposedly have powers to promote the healing of wounds and that is obviously where its common country name comes from. A wort is a herb so it is the wound healing herb of the hedgerow. There is a similar species, the marsh woundwort, that has the same properties. Although these two species look alike hedge woundwort grows in dry conditions, marsh woundwort in the damp.