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Common Nettle Urtica dioica

Other Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
UR-ti-kuh dy-oh-EE-kuh
This plant has low severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

Stinging Nettle is a perennial herb growing nearly worldwide. There are 5 subspecies of which 4 have stinging hairs. It occurs in moist sites along streams, meadow, and ditches, on mountain slopes, in woodland clearings, and in disturbed areas.  Stinging nettle generally grows on deep, rich, moist soil and doesn't do well in areas of drought. Stinging Nettle reproduces by rhizomes and seeds and can form dense colonies covering and an acre or more. It is considered a noxious weed in some areas.

 

 

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#weed#edible weed#wildlife plant#wet sites#stream banks#herb garden#stinging hairs#spreads#disturbed areas#edible garden#wind pollinated#larval host plant#butterfly friendly#pollinator garden#question mark butterfly#painted lady butterfly#eastern comma butterfly#red admiral butterfly
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#weed#edible weed#wildlife plant#wet sites#stream banks#herb garden#stinging hairs#spreads#disturbed areas#edible garden#wind pollinated#larval host plant#butterfly friendly#pollinator garden#question mark butterfly#painted lady butterfly#eastern comma butterfly#red admiral butterfly
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Urtica
    Species:
    dioica
    Family:
    Urticaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    The rootstock is used as a diuretic and as an herbal treatment for benign prostatic hyperplasia (prostate enlargement) and other urinary disorders. Tea made from the leaves has been used to treat hay fever, diabetes, gout, and arthritis, and fresh stinging leaves are sometimes applied to arthritic joints in a process known as urtification, which is said to stimulate blood flow. Topical creams have also been developed for joint pain and various skin ailments, including eczema and dandruff.
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Europe, Asia, Africa, western North America
    Distribution:
    AK, AL, AZ, CA , CO, CT, DC, DE, Fl, GA, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA , MA , MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS , MT, NC , ND, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NV, NY, OH, OK, OR , PA, RI, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, VT, WA, WI , WV, WY Canada: AB, BC, MB, NB, NL, NS, NT, ON, PE, QC, SK, YT
    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:
    Soak young shoots in warm water to remove dirt and debris. Do not use dish detergent or any type of sanitizer. These products can leave a residue. Place young shoots in boiling, salted water (with a pair of kitchen tongs) and boil for five minutes. Serve as a vegetable or add to soups. The stinging quality disappears after cooking.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 3 ft. 0 in. - 9 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 1 ft. 0 in. - 3 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Edible
    Poisonous
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    High
    Appendage:
    Prickles
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Dappled Sunlight (Shade through upper canopy all day)
    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
    High Organic Matter
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Wet
    Available Space To Plant:
    12 inches-3 feet
    3 feet-6 feet
    6-feet-12 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    4a, 4b, 5a, 6b, 6a, 7b, 7a, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b, 10a, 10b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Cream/Tan
    Gold/Yellow
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Fruit Type:
    Achene
    Fruit Description:
    Produces small oval achenes with copious amounts of seeds.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Green
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Insignificant
    Spike
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Description:
    Tiny green or white flowers are borne in dense whorled clusters in the leaf axils and stem tips. Flowers are wind pollinated.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Prickly
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Opposite
    Leaf Shape:
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    1”-6” simple opposite saw-tooth margin egg-shaped green leaves with a heart-shaped base and a pointed tip with hairs and stinging hairs.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Cross Section:
    Square
    Stem Surface:
    Hairy (pubescent)
    Stem Description:
    Wiry green stems fairly square and may bear stinging hairs, grow up to 9’ tall.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Riparian
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Edible Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Rain Garden
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Pollinators
    Problems:
    Contact Dermatitis
    Poisonous to Humans
    Problem for Children
    Spines/Thorns
    Weedy
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    Low
    Poison Symptoms:
    Intense burning and itching sensation lasting a few minutes from hairs on leaves and stems.
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    unknown
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    Yes
    Poison Part:
    Leaves
    Stems