Yellow archangel (Lamiastrum galeobdolon) is an attractive dead nettle particularly associated here in South East England with ancient woodland.
It has done very well indeed this year in the area of coppice just up the road and makes a wonderful contrast to the bluebells.
It did not, however, seem a very exciting plant - few insect associates, few medicinal properties and, like many plants that are not actually poisonous, said to be edible when young.
The specific name is also not very inspiring as it is supposed to indicate that the plant smells like a weasel or marten and some claim that weasels smell worse than skunks.
Apparently Redzepi sprinkles raw flowers and shoot tips of yellow archangel over a dish of baked celeriac and black pudding also garnished, of course, with salted ramsons seeds pickled in vinegar. I am sure that the mustelid aroma would add greatly to the quality of this dish.
My family is in for a gastronomic treat this weekend.
Since penning the above I have, in the interests of both science and gastronomy, sampled leaves and flowers of yellow archangel. I am happy to report that I could detect no unpleasant aroma and the taste was leafy and slightly nutty - a bit coarse, but not disagreeable.
So, maybe galeobdolon (a name coined by ancient Greek physician Dioscorides) has nothing to do with the smell of weasel unless it was used mischievously to deter people from collecting the plant for the kitchen. Alternatively the word may have something to do with galea the Latin (and ? Greek) for a helmet from the shape of the flowers. And anyway, perhaps Dioscorides didn't mean yellow archangel as we know it.