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Bruso, George H.
Urtica dioica L.
USDA Symbol: urdi
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).
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Green , Brown
Bloom Time: Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep
, WY Canada: AB
, YT Native Distribution:
Throughout much of North America, except Arctic. Native Habitat:
Waste places, roadsides.
Growing ConditionsLight Requirement: Sun , Part Shade , Shade
BenefitUse 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.
Larval Host: Question Mark, Milberts Tortoiseshell, Red Admiral.
Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA)
is a larval host and/or nectar source for:
National Wetland Indicator Status
This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1
(Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here
for map of regions.
From the National Organizations Directory
According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is either on display or available from the following:
Native Seed Network
- Corvallis, OR
Record Last Modified: 2011-04-24
Research By: TWC Staff