En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Thursday - December 26, 2013

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Edible Plants
Title: Looking for stinging nettle not exposed to pesticides or exhaust
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Hi, Thank you for providing this service! I'm interested in foraging and wild edibles in Austin and am wondering if anyone can tell me a spot where I could harvest some Stinging Nettle that is unexposed to exhaust or pesticides. If you have any other special recommendations for local wild edibles that grow in abundance, I would be appreciative!

ANSWER:

If you are referring to Urtica dioica (Stinging nettle), it is shown in Turner et al. Atlas of the Vascular Plants of Texas as occurring in Texas only in Wheeler County in the Panhandle.  Urtica chamaedryoides (Heartleaf nettle), however, does occur in Travis County.  It is also called "stinging nettle" by some and, indeed, Green Deane on the Eat the Weeds website calls it "the nettle that stings the worst".  Unfortunately, I don't have first hand knowledge about where it might occur at all and certainly not where plants that haven't been exposed to pesticides or exhaust from automobiles could be found.  I think your best bet for finding such stinging nettles is by contacting fellow wild food foragers.   In the Austin area there is the Texas Wild Plant and Food Foragers.  On Facebook you can find the Wild Food and Foraging Austin page.  You might also try contacting someone in the Austin Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas.

For foraging in Texas there is Foraging Texas:  Merriwether's Guide to Edible Wild Plants of Texas and the Southwest and Wild Edible Plants of Texas websites.  And, if you don't already know it, there is the 2013 book by Delena Tull, Edible and Useful Plants of the Southwest:  Texas, Mexico and Arizona available in the Wildflower Center store.  This is the revised version of her 2009 publication Edible and Useful Plants of Texas and the Southwest.

Here are three different discussions about edible native plants in the Austin area by another Mr. Smarty Plants contributor that you may find interesting:  discussion #1, discussion #2 and discussion #3.

 

More Edible Plants Questions

Edible plants native to Bexar County, Texas
July 30, 2008 - What types of edible plants are native to Bexar county?
view the full question and answer

Can tulip tree sap be used to make syrup in Bunker Hill IN?
July 10, 2009 - I was just wondering if tulip tree sap could be used to make syrup. I saw the sticky stuff on the leaves and decided to taste test it and it was very sweet, unfortunately I later found out that I was ...
view the full question and answer

Wild plums for jelly from Conroe TX
December 18, 2012 - Do wild plum trees grow in my area? I want to get some next summer to make plum jelly.
view the full question and answer

Edible plants in northeastern Ohio
February 12, 2009 - I am doing a project and i was wondering what are five native edible plants to the northeastern Ohio region. Also if you could tell the seasons they are available. Thank You,
view the full question and answer

Edible plants native to Austin, TX
August 05, 2009 - Hello, I am a chef from Buenos Aires Argentina visiting Austin, Texas and would like to learn about native, edible plants in the region. Please let me know if there are any native, edible plants...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center