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Heart-leaf Stinging Nettle Urtica chamaedryoides

Other Common Name(s):

Previously known as:

  • Urtica chamaedryoides var. runyonii
Phonetic Spelling
UR-tee-ka kam-ee-dree-OY-deez
Description

Heart-leaf Stinging Nettle is an edible annual with very many stinging trichomes or "hairs" along its leaves and stems that can lead to contact dermatitis and sting for 2 days.  It is native to SE USA and into Mexico and found in rich woods, flood plains and disturbed areas..

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#annuals#wildlife plant#stinging hairs#larval host plant#butterfly friendly#pollinator garden#problem for children#question mark butterfly#painted lady butterfly#eastern comma butterfly#red admiral butterfly#contact dermatitis
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#annuals#wildlife plant#stinging hairs#larval host plant#butterfly friendly#pollinator garden#problem for children#question mark butterfly#painted lady butterfly#eastern comma butterfly#red admiral butterfly#contact dermatitis
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Urtica
    Species:
    chamaedryoides
    Family:
    Urticaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    The fiber from the stems has been used to make clothing. They have been used medicinally to treat allergies, and respiratory issues.
    Life Cycle:
    Annual
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Central and Southeastern U.S.A. to Guatemala
    Distribution:
    AL , AR , FL , GA , IL , KS , KY , LA , MA , MO , MS , NC , NY , OH , OK , SC , TN , TX , WV
    Wildlife Value:
    This plant supports the following larvae: Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui), Eastern Comma (Polygonia comma), Mourning Cloak (Nymphalis antiopa), Question Mark Butterfly (Polygonia interrogationis). 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. Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui) and Red-spotted Purple (Limenitis arthemis astyanax) rarely use this host plant in North Carolina.
    Edibility:
    Leaves and stems are edible once cooked, dried, wilted, or refrigerated as that seems to take out the "sting" from the prolific hairs. It tastes similar to spinach, is high in many vitamins and minerals and can be used in the same ways. Do not eat the plant after flowering.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Edible
    Herbaceous Perennial
    Native Plant
    Perennial
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Prostrate
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Medium
  • 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:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Fruit Type:
    Achene
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    Flattened egg-shaped brown achenes enclosed by bract-like structures
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Green
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Cyme
    Insignificant
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Summer
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Insignificant greenish to whitish flowers are either male or female occurring in leaf axils on the same plant in spherical clusters. The male flowers have five stamens with explosive anthers and female flowers have one ovary subtended by four to five sepals. Blooms March to Nov. Flowers are wind-pollinated.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Prickly
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Opposite
    Leaf Shape:
    Lanceolate
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Crenate
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    Heart-shaped opposite leaves with toothed margins resemble mint and having many stinging hairs. Leaf base cordate to rounded. 1-2.5 inches long and up to 1 nch wide.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    Weak green to red branched stems with many stinging hairs
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Meadow
    Naturalized Area
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Edible Garden
    Native Garden
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Problems:
    Contact Dermatitis
    Problem for Children