Perennial herb with edible leaves, flowers and seeds, although the pungent smell may put you off. Its main use is as a medicinal herb – a poultice of the leaves is said to be very effective for healing wounds and treating stings – Culpepper described it as ‘inferior to none’ in its ability to heal wounds. The leaves are also said to have antispasmodic properties and can be used to treat gout, cramps and aching muscles.
The stems yield a tough fibre which may have commercial possibilities. The plant also yields a yellow dye or pigment. The pink-purple flower spikes are extremely attractive to bees and butterflies.
Forms a tall ground cover but may be invasive in damp areas. Prefers part shade and moist soils.
Ht 70cm. 9cm pot. Certified organic plant.