Overview

Comprehensive Description

Description

Annual or perennial herbs, shrubs or small trees, monoecious or dioecious, sometimes with stinging hairs. Stipules usually present. Leaves alternate or opposite, simple or lobed, usually strongly 3-veined from the base. Cystoliths generally present. Inflorescences usually cymose, densely clustered. Flowers minute, unisexual, with 1 whorl of tepals. Ovary superior with 1 erect basal ovule. 
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© Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten and Petra Ballings

Source: Flora of Zimbabwe

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Ecology

Associations

Foodplant / sap sucker
Orthotylus ochrotrichus sucks sap of Urticaceae
Other: major host/prey

Foodplant / sap sucker
nymph of Plagiognathus arbustorum sucks sap of Urticaceae
Remarks: season: 5-7
Other: major host/prey

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Evolution and Systematics

Functional Adaptations

Functional adaptation

Leaves protect from herbivory: Australian stinging tree
 

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.
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© The Biomimicry Institute

Source: AskNature

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD) Stats
                                        
Specimen Records:546Public Records:238
Specimens with Sequences:451Public Species:90
Specimens with Barcodes:444Public BINs:0
Species:139         
Species With Barcodes:127         
          
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Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Urticaceae A.guadamuz

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 0
Specimens with Barcodes: 2
Species With Barcodes: 1
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© Barcode of Life Data Systems

Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

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Barcode data

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Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

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Locations of barcode samples

Collection Sites: world map showing specimen collection locations for Urticaceae

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Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

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Wikipedia

Urticaceae

Urticaceae /ɜrtɨˈks/, 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.

Taxonomy[edit]

Male and female flower of Urtica

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.

Description[edit]

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 pollinated by the wind. Most disperse their pollen when the stamens are mature and their filaments straighten explosively, a peculiar and conspicuously specialised mechanism.

Genera (partial list)[edit]

Image gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ 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. 
  2. ^ "Metatrophis F. Br.". Germplasm Resources Information Network. United States Department of Agriculture. 2009-01-16. Retrieved 2009-03-11. 
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