Variegated yellow archangel

Common Name

  • Variegated yellow archangel

Latin Name

  • Lamiastrum galeobdolon argentatum

What’s the problem?

  • Variegated yellow archangel is a non-native species with widespread distribution over much of the UK, the plant is particularly prevalent in the South West of the country.
  • The plant spreads by seeds and by long runners which root at the nodes. Spreading quickly it can outcompete native species forming dense mats of growth.
  • It is thought that this subspecies can hybridise with other native subspecies changing native population genetics.

Legal Implications?

  • Listed as a Schedule 9 species under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, it is an offence to plant or allow to spread into the wild
  • Offences under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 can result in possible fines and prison sentences,
  • It is not an offence to have Variegated yellow archangel on your land and you do not need to notify anyone on its presence,
  • Soils containing the plant are classified as controlled waste and should be disposed of at licensed landfill.

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In Detail

  • The plant is thought to have escaped from gardens in the 1970’s, its origins are unknown but it is likely to be a further subspecies of Yellow archangel.
  • Spread of the plant is through seed and long creeping runners which from roots at the nodes, these runners smother other vegetation forming dense patches of growth.
  • Each plant can produce up to 800 seeds.


  • An erect hairy perennial. The green variegated leaves have characteristic and distinctive silvery patches, they are hairy with toothed edges, growing in opposing pairs to a length of 4-7cm. In cooler conditions, the centre of the leaves can appear purplish in colour.
  • Flower are yellow in colour, and like other deadnettle species, the flowers are lipped and hooded. The plant flowers from April to June. The flowers are self-fertilised or cross pollinated by insects.
  • The plant prefers shadier areas but will grow in numerous habitats including gardens, woodland and woodland edges and hedgerows.

Control Methods


  • The plant is shallow rooting and can be mechanically removed although care should be taken to remove all of the plant material as the runners easily break up when disturbed and have the potential to propagate new colonies. 
  • Waste materials containing the Variegated yellow archangel are considered ‘controlled’ waste and must be disposed of appropriately.


  • Herbicide application can successfully control the plant. Applications of herbicide should be made while the plant is actively growing to ensure maximum effectiveness.

When treating large areas, a suitable grass and forb mix should be sown to prevent bare ground and colonisation of other unwanted species.

If you have concerns over Variegated yellow archangel species on your land, if you are unsure of your legal responsibilities, or, if you would like a quotation for control, please contact one of our specialist surveyors. Treatment costs start at £380.00 + VAT.