Purple dragon

(Lamium maculatum)
Despite its wide geographical distribution, the size of its population is not very large.
Sophia Siggiridou_Kostas Vidakis, MSc

Distribution of the species

It is not found in a large number of sites, but only in micro-sites with suitable conditions. Specifically, it has been observed at altitudes from 600 m to 1,300 m asl., within oak forests and forest openings, mainly in the northern and northeastern parts of Mt. Paggaio.

Description of the species (biological and ecological features)

Despite its wide geographical distribution, the size of its population is not very large. It is a perennial, morphologically diverse species, with the ability to form a special category of shoots that are located just above the soil surface, called stolons. From these stolons, a number of roots and shoots are generated, with which the species reproduces itself and expands. The plant reaches a height of 50 cm (marginally up to 80 cm) and its various parts are puberulent to pilose. The leaves are opposite, usually with white spots, ovate to triangular, coarsely and irregularly crenate-serrate. The flowers are whitish or pinkish-purple, with darker edges, clustered in 2-5 groups, each composed of 6-8 flowers. The tube of the corolla is up to 30 mm long and bends forward. It is a well-known aromatic plant, also containing phenolic substances with antioxidant properties and their potential for producing medicines. It has long been used in traditional Chinese medicine as an herb that helps rapid wound healing, and as a remedy for hypertension. It is also used in various countries as an ornamental due to its impressive flowers. It occurs at a large altitudinal range. In north Greece, it can be found up to 2,100 m asl., in places with stones and rocks, in grasslands and in forests. We will see it in flower during June and August.

On Mt. Paggaio, we haven’t observed any negative impact. Due to its relatively wide distribution on Mt.t Paggaio, no particular threats and pressures were observed or reported, which could lead to a significant reduction in its population.

Conservation status

Conservation state

It is not subjected to any national or international conservation status.