Plant DetailShow Menu

Smallspike False Nettle Boehmeria cylindrica

Other Common Name(s):

Description

False Nettle is a flowering, herbaceous perennial plant that is native to Canada and North America. It is commonly found on moist or shady ground, deciduous woods, swamps, bogs, marshes, wet meadows and ditches. The plant displays tiny greenish flowers in small clusters, arranged in continuous or interrupted spikes in the axils of opposite leaves. Although a member of the nettle family and, in appearance, like stinging nettles Urtica dioica or Laportea canadensis, plants in this genus do not have stinging hairs on its opposite leaves.  The genus name honors the German botanist Georg Boehmer. The species name is based on the cylindrical spikes located in the leaf axils.

False Nettle prefers the light shade and moist, well drained, rich loamy soil. In sunny locations, this plant prefers wetter ground and the foliage may become yellowish green. False Nettle is dioecious (meaning individual flowers are either male or female, but only one sex is to be found on any one plant), thus both male and female plants must be grown if seed is desired.

Diseases, Insect Pests, and Other Plant Problems:

No knows diseases or insect pests.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • Boehmeria cylindrica var. cylindrica
  • Boehmeria cylindrica var. drummondiana
Boehmeria cylindrica var. cylindrica, Boehmeria cylindrica var. drummondiana
Tags:
#wildlife plant#small mammals#herbaceous perennials#pollinator plant#wind pollinated#larval host plant#food source herbage#butterfly friendly#question mark butterfly#eastern comma butterfly#red admiral butterfly
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • Boehmeria cylindrica var. cylindrica
  • Boehmeria cylindrica var. drummondiana
Boehmeria cylindrica var. cylindrica, Boehmeria cylindrica var. drummondiana
Tags:
#wildlife plant#small mammals#herbaceous perennials#pollinator plant#wind pollinated#larval host plant#food source herbage#butterfly friendly#question mark butterfly#eastern comma butterfly#red admiral butterfly
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Boehmeria
    Species:
    cylindrica
    Family:
    Urticaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Canada, central and eastern United States
    Distribution:
    Florida to Texas and west to California, north to Southern Quebec, Southern Ontario and Minnesota. Introduced into France.
    Wildlife Value:
    This is a larval host plant that supports Eastern Comma (Polygonia comma), Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta), and Question Mark Butterfly (Polygonia interrogationis) caterpillars. Questionmark butterflies have an interesting life cycles: overwintered adult Question Mark butterflies lay eggs from spring until the end of May. These will appear as summer adults from May-September, laying eggs that then develop into the winter adult form. The winter adults appear in late August and shelter for the winter starting the cycle all over again. Adult Question Mark butterflies feed on rotting fruit, tree sap, dung, and carrion only visiting flowers for feeding when absolutely necessary. Fly larva (Neolasioptera boehmeriae) form spindle shaped galls on the leaves. Mammals browse the foliage of this plant.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Native Plant
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Multi-stemmed
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Low
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6b, 6a, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b, 10b, 10a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Fruit Type:
    Achene
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    Small, oval-shaped seeds are covered in small, hook-like hairs. Once mature, the seeds are dark brown.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Green
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Insignificant
    Spike
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Fall
    Summer
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Late summer to early fall tiny greenish white wind pollinated flowers appear from the axils of the upper leaves. They form head-like clusters in upward pointing spikes that are 1/2 to 3 inches long. Plants are usually dioecous with male and female plants separate. of the upper leaves. Sometimes the flowers are terminal, but more often they will develop additional leaves beyond the flowers. Male flowers are distributed along the spikes in bunches, while female flowers are produced along the spikes more or less continuously. These flowers are very small and lack petals. There is no floral scent; pollination is by wind.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Rough
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Opposite
    Leaf Shape:
    Lanceolate
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Dentate
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Opposite (occasionally alternate) leaves with coarsely serrate margins 4 inches long and 2 1/2 inches wide with long thin petioles. There is a central vein and two parallel secondary veins. Does not have stinging hairs like other nettles.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Cross Section:
    Angular
    Stem Surface:
    Hairy (pubescent)
    Stem Description:
    Light green round or 4 angled or round, smooth to slightly pubecent.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Pollinators
    Small Mammals