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There are three subspecies of this plant which are fun to try and diagnose. L.galeobdolon subsp. argentatum is the common garden plant with conspicuous white/silvery blotches on the leaves. Subsp. galeobdolon has unblotched leaves and has stem hairs more or less confined to the angles of the stems (and is rather rare), subsp. montanum also has unblotched leaves (but see below) but the stems have hairs on the faces as well as the angles (and it is much more common). Just to complicate matters when you were beginning to feel it was easy, there is an old garden variety of subsp. montanum which does have rather dull silvery blotches on the leaves early in the year. It's normally confined to old overgrown Victorian gardens with occasional escapes into the wild nearby.
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that really is very interesting, and very clearly explained.
Will try to find an old Victorian garden straight away!
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Thanks a lot Chris that is indeed really interesting. We have quite a lot of Lamiastrum in these woods. And I'm not yet clear that they're all the same species. I don't think I've seen any with blotched leaves but I'll keep a look out for the varieties you've described... tempted to started peering over the fences of old Victorian gardens now too... Paul
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