Betonica formerly Stachys
Square stemmed aromatic Hedgenettle from the Mint family
Betony is also known as Common Hedgenettle
Betony is a wildflower species that I’ve found growing locally in Seaford. It grows on the chalk sea cliffs (see pic above) but will tolerate a range of soil acidity. It was in flower in August when I spotted it although it had clearly been flowering for some time. The plants I saw were growing in open grassland but it can be found in a range of habitats (hence the hedge name) and is an ancient woodland indicator species.
The plant I saw had flower spikes growing to about 30cm tall, but that the growing conditions were quite poor – thin soil and an exposed site.
Identifying Betonica officinalis
I forgot to look for a basal rosette of leaves (#stillLearning :)) but the stem leaves were in pairs quite sparsely distributed up the square stem. The leaves were narrow, about 5cm long and serrated. The pink flowers were held in a spike of compact whorls with hairy purple calyces, each flower tube (corolla) being about 1cm long.