Evolution and Systematics
The leaves of the Australian stinging tree and other plants protect themselves from herbivory with venomous stinging hairs.
"There are even more ferocious stingers elsewhere in the world. Tropical Australia has three different species. Some are low bushes. One is a tree that can grow to fifty feet tall. A traveller failing to recognise the large and characteristic heart-shaped leaves and brushing past them is likely to be so badly stung that he may have to be taken to hospital. The poison, like that of the nettle, contains histamine but also other as yet unidentified venoms that cause an intense pain which can last for weeks. There is no known antidote." (Attenborough 1995:65-66)
Learn more about this functional adaptation.
- Attenborough, D. 1995. The Private Life of Plants: A Natural History of Plant Behavior. London: BBC Books. 320 p.
Molecular Biology and Genetics
Statistics of barcoding coverage: Urticaceae A.guadamuz
Public Records: 0
Specimens with Barcodes: 2
Species With Barcodes: 1
Statistics of barcoding coverage
Specimen Records: 955
Specimens with Sequences: 1063
Specimens with Barcodes: 604
Species With Barcodes: 292
Public Records: 239
Public Species: 91
Urticaceae //, the nettle family, is a family of flowering plants. The family name comes from the genus Urtica. The Urticaceae include a number of well-known and useful plants, including the aforementioned nettles, ramie (Boehmeria nivea), māmaki (Pipturus albidus), and ajlai (Debregeasia saeneb).
The family includes about 2600 species, grouped into 54 to 79 genera according to the database of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. The largest genera are Pilea (500 to 715 species), Elatostema (300 species), Urtica (80 species), and Cecropia (75 species).
Urticaceae can be found worldwide, apart from the polar regions.
Urticaceae can be shrubs (e.g. Pilea), lianas, herbs (e.g. Urtica, Parietaria), or, rarely, trees (Dendrocnide, Cecropia). Leaves are usually entire and bear stipules. Urticating (stinging) hairs are often present. Urticaceae have usually unisexual flowers and can be both monoecious or dioecious. They are wind-pollinated. Most disperse their pollen when the stamens are mature and their filaments straighten explosively, a peculiar and conspicuously specialised mechanism.
The APG II system puts the Urticaceae in order Rosales, while older systems consider them part of Urticales, along with Ulmaceae, Moraceae, and Cannabaceae. APG still considers "old" Urticales a monophyletic group, but does not recognise it as an order on its own.
Genera (partial list)
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Urticaceae.|
- Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN) (2003-01-17). "Family: Urticaceae Juss., nom. cons.". Taxonomy for Plants. USDA, ARS, National Genetic Resources Program, National Germplasm Resources Laboratory, Beltsville, Maryland. Retrieved 2008-04-24.
- "Metatrophis F. Br.". Germplasm Resources Information Network. United States Department of Agriculture. 2009-01-16. Retrieved 2009-03-11.
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