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Urtica dioica (Stinging nettle) | NPIN
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Urtica dioica (Stinging nettle)
Bruso, George H.

Urtica dioica

Urtica dioica L.

Stinging nettle

Urticaceae (Nettle Family)

Synonym(s):

USDA Symbol: URDI

USDA Native Status: L48 (NI), AK (NI), CAN (NI), GL (I), SPM (NI)

A 4-angled stem, covered with many bristly, stinging hairs, has slender, branching, feathery clusters of minute greenish flowers in the leaf axils. Flowers are unisexual, with either male or female on a given plant, or on same plant with males in upper leaf axils, females lower.

Highly irritating to the skin, this Nettle should not be handled. However, the very young shoots and top leaves may be cooked and served as greens or used in soups and stews. The family and genus names come from the Latin uro (I burn).

 

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Flower:
Fruit:

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Green , Brown
Bloom Time: Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep

Distribution

USA: 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
Native Distribution: Throughout much of North America, except Arctic.
Native Habitat: Waste places, roadsides.

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade , Shade

Benefit

Use Food: EDIBLE PARTS: Young shoots. Only collect young shoots from areas you know have NOT been treated with pesticides. Collect the young shoots in the spring. Wear gloves while collecting shoots. PREPARATION: Soak young shoots in warm water to remove dirt and debris. Do not use dish detergent or any type of sanitizer. 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. (Poisonous Plants of N.C.)
Warning: POISONOUS PARTS: Stinging hairs on stems and leaves. Minor skin irritation when handled. Symptoms include intense burning and itching sensation lasting a few minutes. Toxic Principle: Mixture of chemicals, not well understood.
Attracts: Butterflies
Larval Host: Question Mark, Milberts Tortoiseshell, Red Admiral.

Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA)

Urtica dioica is a larval host and/or nectar source for:
Red Admiral
(Vanessa atalanta)

Larval Host
Learn more at BAMONA
Question Mark
(Polygonia interrogationis)

Larval Host
Learn more at BAMONA

Find Seed or Plants

Find seed sources for this species at the Native Seed Network.

View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Native Seed Network - Corvallis, OR

Bibliography

Bibref 1186 - Field Guide to Moths of Eastern North America (2005) Covell, C.V., Jr.
Bibref 1185 - Field Guide to Western Butterflies (Peterson Field Guides) (1999) Opler, P.A. and A.B. Wright
Bibref 663 - Poisonous Plants of North Carolina (1994) Vondracek, W. ; L. Van Asch

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Recommended Species Lists

Find native plant species by state. Each list contains commercially available species suitable for gardens and planned landscapes. Once you have selected a collection, you can browse the collection or search within it using the combination search.

View Recommended Species page

Additional resources

USDA: Find Urtica dioica in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Urtica dioica in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Urtica dioica

Metadata

Record Modified: 2011-04-24
Research By: TWC Staff

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