Hyssop Hedge Nettle

Stachys hyssopifolia var. hyssopifolia None

Stachys hyssopifolia
Troy Weldy

Dicotyledoneae (Dicots)
Lamiaceae (Mint Family)
State Protection
Listed as Threatened by New York State: likely to become Endangered in the foreseeable future. For animals, taking, importation, transportation, or possession is prohibited, except under license or permit. For plants, removal or damage without the consent of the landowner is prohibited.
Federal Protection
Not Listed
State Conservation Status Rank
Imperiled in New York - Very vulnerable to disappearing from New York due to rarity or other factors; typically 6 to 20 populations or locations in New York, very few individuals, very restricted range, few remaining acres (or miles of stream), and/or steep declines.
Global Conservation Status Rank
Apparently or Demonstrably Secure globally - The subspecies/variety is uncommon to common in the world, but not rare; usually widespread, but may be rare in some parts of its range; possibly some cause for long-term concern due to declines or other factors. More information is needed to assign either T4 or T5. (The species as a whole is common globally.)


Did you know?

The genus name is Greek for spike and refers to the spike-like inflorescence (Fernald 1950). Only one population in New York has been found away from a pondshore.

State Ranking Justification

There are nine existing populations and some of these Long Island pondshores contain over 150 plants. However, most of the populations are under 50 plants. There are three historical populations from the early 1900s to the 1970s which have not been resurveyed.

Short-term Trends

Short-term trends are unknown because almost all populations have not been resurveyed more than one time.

Long-term Trends

The long-term trend appears to be stable. This plant has always been very rare in New York and the number of populations has remained about the same over the last 100 years.

Conservation and Management


Some ponds have seen too much development along the shoreline which threaten populations with direct disturbance by trampling and ATV use. The invasion of Phragmites is also a threat to a few populations. One population will probably be extirpated by succession.

Conservation Strategies and Management Practices

The pondshores need to be protected from direct disturbance by ATVs and excessive trampling. Exotic invasive species must be prevented from colonizing the shores and any existing populations must be eliminated. A natural buffer of at least 200 feet should be established around the ponds to prevent excessive runoff and pollution events.

Research Needs

More information is needed about habitat preferences so existing populations may be augmented.



This species grows mainly on coastal plain pondshores but can also be seen in wet sandy disturbed openings and wet areas of sand roads within pine barrens. One population was in a moist sandy area that had been bulldozed for a house foundation (New York Natural Heritage Program 2012). Moist, usually sandy soil near the coast (Gleason and Cronquist 1991).

Associated Ecological Communities

  • Coastal plain pond shore (guide)
    The gently sloping shore of a coastal plain pond with seasonally and annually fluctuating water levels. Plants growing on the pond shore vary with water levels. In dry years when water levels are low there is often a dense growth of annual sedges, grasses, and herbs. Submerged and floating-leaved aquatic plants, such as fragrant waterlily and pondweeds, may become "stranded" on the exposed shore. In wet years when the water level is high only a few emergents and floating-leaved aquatics may be noticeable. T

Associated Species

  • Conyza canadensis
  • Coreopsis rosea (pink coreopsis, pink tickseed)
  • Cyperus strigosus (false yellow nut sedge)
  • Eriocaulon aquaticum (northern pipewort, northern hat-pins)
  • Euthamia caroliniana (slender flat-topped-goldenrod)
  • Fuirena pumila (dwarf umbrella-grass)
  • Gratiola aurea (golden hedge-hyssop)
  • Juncus canadensis (Canada rush)
  • Juncus pelocarpus (brown-fruited rush)
  • Lespedeza angustifolia (narrow-leaved bush-clover)
  • Lobelia kalmii (Kalm's lobelia)
  • Panicum virgatum (switch grass)
  • Plantago lanceolata (English plantain)
  • Rhexia virginica (Virginia meadow-beauty)
  • Rhynchospora capitellata (brownish beak sedge)
  • Salix discolor (pussy willow)
  • Schoenoplectus tabernaemontani (soft-stemmed bulrush)
  • Vaccinium corymbosum (highbush blueberry)
  • Vaccinium pallidum (hillside blueberry)


New York State Distribution

This small mint is known only from Suffolk County, Long Island with historical records to the west in Nassau, Queens, and Brooklyn. There are also historical records from the Pine Bush area of Albany County as well as Collins Lake in Schenectady County, and Staten Island, where it has been extirpated.

Global Distribution

This wildflower has two centers of distribution. It grows in the Atlantic coastal states from Maine south to northern Florida and in the upper Midwest in Michigan, Indiana, and Illinois. It also occurs just south of Illinois in a couple of counties in Missouri and Kentucky.

Identification Comments

General Description

Rough hedge-nettle is an herbaceous, rhizomatous, perennial wildflower that grows 3-5 dm tall with stems that are often branched from the base, hairy at the nodes, and sometimes sparsely hairy on the angles. The leaves are opposite, stiff, sessile and linear to narrowly oblong, 2-7 cm long and 3-7 mm wide, tapering to the base and with a few low teeth. The whorls of flowers are spaced far apart and bracts underneath the whorls are without teeth and lance-linear. The sepals are without hairs or with a few hairs on the upper side. Their lobes are narrowly triangular and nearly as long as the flower tube of the white flowers with lavender markings (Gleason and Cronquist 1991).

Best Life Stage for Proper Identification

It is best to identify this species in flower.

Similar Species

Stachys palustris has stems that are hairy on the sides as well as the angles and its leaves are wider, 1-4 cm wide. The flowers are mostly lavender with white markings. Stachys tenuifolia has leaves with petioles and blades that are much wider (Gleason and Cronquist 1991).

Best Time to See

The best time to identify this plant is July and August.

  • Flowering
  • Fruiting

The time of year you would expect to find Hyssop Hedge Nettle flowering and fruiting in New York.

Hyssop Hedge Nettle Images


Hyssop Hedge Nettle
Stachys hyssopifolia var. hyssopifolia None

  • Kingdom Plantae
    • Phylum Anthophyta
      • Class Dicotyledoneae (Dicots)
        • Order Lamiales
          • Family Lamiaceae (Mint Family)

Additional Common Names

  • Hedge-nettle
  • Rough Hedge Nettle
  • Wound-wort


  • Stachys aspera Michx.
  • Stachys atlantica Britt.
  • Stachys grayana House
  • Stachys hyssopifolia Michx.
  • Stachys hyssopifolia var. ambigua Gray

Additional Resources

Best Identification Reference

Gleason, Henry A. and A. Cronquist. 1991. Manual of Vascular Plants of Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada. The New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, New York. 910 pp.

Other References

Crow, Garrett E. and C. Barre Hellquist. 2000. Aquatic and Wetland Plants of Northeastern North America: A revised and enlarged edition of Norman C. Fassett's a Manual of Aquatic Plants. Volume One: Pteridophytes, Gymnosperms, and Angiosperms: Dicotyledons. The University of Wisconsin Press. Madison, Wisconsin. 536 Pages.

Fernald, M.L. 1950. Gray's manual of botany. 8th edition. D. Van Nostrand, New York. 1632 pp.

Godfrey, R.K., and J.W. Wooten. 1981. Aquatic and wetland plants of southeastern United States: Dicotyledons. Univ. Georgia Press, Athens. 933 pp.

Holmgren, Noel. 1998. The Illustrated Companion to Gleason and Cronquist's Manual. Illustrations of the Vascular Plants of Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada. The New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, New York.

Hough, M.Y. 1983. New Jersey wild plants. Harmony Press, Harmony, NJ. 414 pp.

Mitchell, Richard S. and Gordon C. Tucker. 1997. Revised Checklist of New York State Plants. Contributions to a Flora of New York State. Checklist IV. Bulletin No. 490. New York State Museum. Albany, NY. 400 pp.

New York Natural Heritage Program. 2010. Biotics database. New York Natural Heritage Program. New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. Albany, NY.

New York Natural Heritage Program. 2024. New York Natural Heritage Program Databases. Albany, NY.

Newcomb, Lawrence. 1977. Newcomb's Wildflower Guide: An Ingenious New Key System for Quick, Positive Field Identification of the Wildflowers, Flowering Shrubs, and Vines of Northeastern and North-Central North America. Little, Brown and Company. Boston.

Radford, A.E., H.E. Ahles, and C.R. Bell. 1968. Manual of the vascular flora of the Carolinas. Univ. North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill, NC. 1183 pp.

Weldy, T. and D. Werier. 2010. New York flora atlas. [S.M. Landry, K.N. Campbell, and L.D. Mabe (original application development), Florida Center for Community Design and Research http://www.fccdr.usf.edu/. University of South Florida http://www.usf.edu/]. New York Flora Association http://newyork.plantatlas.usf.edu/, Albany, New York


About This Guide

This guide was authored by: Stephen M. Young

Information for this guide was last updated on: September 6, 2012

Please cite this page as:
New York Natural Heritage Program. 2024. Online Conservation Guide for Stachys hyssopifolia var. hyssopifolia. Available from: https://guides.nynhp.org/rough-hedge-nettle/. Accessed March 4, 2024.