Purple Dead Nettle
Also called “Purple Archangel,” this member of the mint family (Lamiaceae) is not truly a nettle, and does not sting (hence the more common moniker “Deadnettle”). It’s natural range is Eurasia, but it is invasive across North America.
The delicate zygomorphic (symmetrical) blossoms provide sustenance to bees when few other sources of nectar or pollen are available (including over the winter in milder climates).
Not only food for the bees, Deadnettle tops and leaves can be used in meals as a spring vegetable. The plant is high in high in fibre, iron, and vitamins, and can be used in a variety of ways: from blending it into a fruit smoothie, to using it as a base for a pesto (like, or with ground elder); from adding it to stir fries, to incorporating the leaves into salads. The flowers taste like nectar, and can be used as an edible garnish to sweet dishes.