Today’s entry was written by Alexis:
Lamium maculatum is a member of the mint family that is distributed throughout western Asia and Europe. Europe and Asia are home to about 50 species of this genus. Though they do not possess any stinging hairs, Lamium species are commonly called dead-nettles because they resemble stinging nettle, Urtica dioica.
Lamium maculatum is usually a low-growing and sprawling plant, reaching only about 30cm in height. In the wild, Lamium maculatum is variable in the colour of its petals and the shape & toothing of its leaves (via Flora Europaea). Furthermore, the species is widely used as an ornamental plant and has many cultivated varieties that vary in foliage and flower colour; the Royal Horticultural Society currently lists almost 40 different cultivars of Lamium maculatum. This species is tolerant of shade and areas of transition from shade to light, making it desirable for use as groundcover in gardens. Additionally, Lamium maculatum has a fairly long blooming season, often lasting from April to September. Read more on garden use of dead-nettles from the Chicago Botanic Garden: A Comparative Study of Ground Cover Lamium (PDF).