En Espa—ol

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

Tuesday - September 13, 2011

From: Austin , TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Edible Plants, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Are there edible nettles native to the Austin, TX area?
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

Are there any nettles native to this area? I would like to cook with them (if there is a good substitute, please advise). Thank you.

ANSWER:

There are several plants that have the word nettle as part of their name (Horse nettle Solanum carolinense (Carolina horse-nettle) and Bull nettle Cnidoscolus texanus (Texas bullnettle), but you probably wouldn't want to cook with either of these. The true nettles are in the genus Urtica, eg Urtica dioica (Stinging nettle).

This USDA Distribution map shows Urtica dioica occurring in the state of Texas, but does not show its distribution by county, so I really don't know about it's local occurrence.

Since you are interested in cooking, I’m going to suggest Delena Tull’s “Edible and Useful Plants of Texas and the Southwest” for recipes and other possibilities.
This link to Botanical.com has good information, both botanical and historical about stinging nettles, and this link to wildmanstevebrill.com is very informative about the use of stinging nettles, and has great photographs.

 

More Herbs/Forbs Questions

Information on edible tubers of hog potato from Austin
November 10, 2011 - I inquired a while back about hog potato or Hoffmannseggia glauca. You gave me some information on the plant but no information on when the plant produces the edible tubers. Also how long does it take...
view the full question and answer

Propagation of Chandler's craglily from San Marcos TX
December 16, 2012 - Can you please advise me on collecting and propagating seed from Chandlerís craglily -Echeandia chandleri. I have 2 plants that came from the wildflower center. They never seem to multiply, but they d...
view the full question and answer

Error on message from Rogue River OR
July 25, 2011 - Previous message regarding sweet peas and how to get them growing was submitted with wrong state - It went out Rouge River, Rhode Island -- Should have been Rouge River, Oregon
view the full question and answer

Chlorosis in tropical milkweed and asclepias tuberosa
May 18, 2008 - I planted both tropical milkweed and asclepias tuberosa. Both are chlorotic and the native milkweed has brown upturned leaves. Could it possibly be too much water? Or what?
view the full question and answer

Need some help with my Mexican Bush Sage in Rockport, TX.
July 07, 2011 - My Mexican bush sage looks leggy,ratty and sparse. It's planted in full sun and was cut back to the ground in early spring. My soil is sand and I've watered it sparingly as we've had no rain. I'm...
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