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Overview

Brief Summary

Description

The common or stinging nettle is a well-known and highly successful 'weed' species (4). The roots are very tough and are yellow in colour, and the creeping stems, which often take root at their bases, produce shoots during spring (2). The oval-shaped leaves are easily recognised; they have deeply serrated edges and bear stinging hairs. These hollow hairs have a similar structure to hypodermic needles, and have a swollen base that contains the venom (4); an encounter with these leaves is not quickly forgotten (4). The specific part of the scientific name dioica means 'two houses', which refers to the fact that the male and female flowers are found on separate plants (4). The small whitish flowers are clustered in spikes known as inflorescences, which reach up to 10 cm in length (2).
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Taxonomy

Morphology
The common, or stinging, nettle is
  • a herbaceous plant
  • dark green leaves
  • inconspicuous flowers
  • abundant stinging hairs
We become aware of nettles at an early age, usually by being stung by them. Thereafter we avoid or ignore them, but our ancestors used nettles as food, for fibre, and in medicine, and some of these uses are being revived today.
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Introduction

The common or stinging nettle is one of the British Isles most widespread and successful plants. It is characteristic of damp, nutrient-rich soils, but can colonise a wide range of other habitats. Our ancestors used nettles as
  • food
  • for fibre
  • in medicine
and some of these uses are being revived today. In the British Isles it was widely thought that beating limbs with nettles would relieve rheumatic pains. At present research is being carried out into the use of nettles to cure arthritis.
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Biology

The common nettle is a perennial species (3), which flowers from June to August (6) and spreads by seeds and by vegetative reproduction via creeping underground rhizomes (5). It is one of the most important plants in Britain for invertebrates, and is essential for many of our species of butterflies and moths, including the caterpillars of the beautiful small tortoiseshell (Aglais urticae) and peacock (Inacis io) butterflies (4). It is not grazed by animals due to the presence of the protective stinging hairs, and so the nettle provides a relatively safe habitat for insects and their larvae (4). Humans have put the nettle to various uses; it does not sting when it has been cooked, and can be eaten like spinach or made into nutritious soups. A good green manure can be made by steeping the leaves in water, and in Germany the fibres were used to make army uniforms during the First World War when cotton was in short supply (5). It also has a number of medical uses, such as treatments for arthritis and gout (4).
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Distribution

National Distribution

Canada

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

United States

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

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Occurrence in North America

     AL  AK  AZ  AR  CA  CO  CT  DE  GA  ID
     IL  IN  IA  KS  KY  LA  ME  MD  MA  MI
     MN  MS  MO  MT  NE  NV  NH  NJ  NM  NY
     NC  ND  OH  OK  OR  PA  RI  SC  SD  TN
     TX  UT  VT  VA  WA  WV  WI  WY  DC  AB
     BC  MB  NB  NF  NT  NS  ON  PE  PQ  SK
     YT  MEXICO

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American stinging nettle is the most common subspecies in temperate
North America and occurs throughout Canada and much of the United
States.  In the East and Midwest, American stinging nettle occurs as far
south as Virginia, Missouri, and Kansas; in the West, it occurs south
along the coast to central California and south in the Rocky Mountains
to Mexico.  European stinging nettle occurs primarily along the Atlantic
Coast from Newfoundland south to Georgia and Alabama.  It is recently
adventive westward in Missouri, Oklahoma, Oregon, and Alaska.  Hoary
nettle is native to the western United States.  It occurs from eastern
Washington south through California to Mexico, east to northern Arizona
and extreme northwestern Colorado, and north to western Wyoming and
southwestern Montana [51].
  • 51. Woodland, Dennis W. 1982. Biosystematics of the perennial North American taxa of Urtica. II. Taxonomy. Systematic Botany. 7(3): 282-290. [24186]

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Regional Distribution in the Western United States

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This species can be found in the following regions of the western United States (according to the Bureau of Land Management classification of Physiographic Regions of the western United States):

    1  Northern Pacific Border
    2  Cascade Mountains
    3  Southern Pacific Border
    4  Sierra Mountains
    5  Columbia Plateau
    6  Upper Basin and Range
    7  Lower Basin and Range
    8  Northern Rocky Mountains
    9  Middle Rocky Mountains
   10  Wyoming Basin
   11  Southern Rocky Mountains
   12  Colorado Plateau
   13  Rocky Mountain Piedmont
   14  Great Plains
   15  Black Hills Uplift
   16  Upper Missouri Basin and Broken Lands

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Distribution and Habitat in the United States

Also called great nettle, European stinging nettle occurs in Coastal Plain, Piedmont and Mountain provinces in the mid-Atlantic and Southeast, from Delaware to Florida. It inhabits damp, rich, disturbed areas, primarily in calcareous soils, in floodplains and moist open forests, and can tolerate dry soils and some shade.

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Origin

Europe

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E Gansu, Qinghai, NW Sichuan, W Xinjiang, Xizang [Afghanistan, C Himalayas; N Africa, Europe, North America].
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Distribution and ecology

The common, or stinging nettle is one of the British Isles most widespread and successful plants. The stinging nettle thrives in damp, nutrient-rich soils, but can colonise a wide range of other habitatsCommon nettle is also provides the food-plant for the caterpillars of several of our most colourful butterflies.
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Range

Common and widely spread throughout Britain (2). Elsewhere it occurs in temperate parts of Europe and Asia (2), and has been introduced to many areas outside of this native range (3).
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Distribution: Widespread in the temperate regions of both hemispheres.
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Europe, N. Africa, W. Siberia, C. Asia, Himalaya, Tibet, W. China, naturalised widely in other temperate regions.
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Physical Description

Morphology

Description

More info for the terms: achene, dioecious, epigeal, forb, monoecious

Stinging nettle is an erect, perennial, rhizomatous forb which forms
dense clonal patches.  Stout stems grow 3.3 to 6.6 feet (1-2 m) tall.
Leaves, stems, and flowers are sparsely to moderately covered with
stinging hairs.  Two subspecies, American stinging nettle and hoary
nettle, are native; the third subspecies in North America, European
stinging nettle, was introduced in the mid-1800's.  American stinging
nettle and hoary nettle are predominantly monoecious whereas European
stinging nettle is typically dioecious.  The fruit is an achene [1,51].
Stinging nettle has both epigeal and shallow subterranean rhizomes [35].
  • 35. Raunkiaer, C. 1934. The life forms of plants and statistical plant geography. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 632 p. [2843]
  • 1. Bassett, I. J.; Crompton, C. W.; Woodland, D. W. 1977. The biology of Canadian weeds. 21. Urtica dioica L. Canadian Journal of Plant Science. 57: 491-498. [24185]
  • 51. Woodland, Dennis W. 1982. Biosystematics of the perennial North American taxa of Urtica. II. Taxonomy. Systematic Botany. 7(3): 282-290. [24186]

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Description and Biology

  • Plant: erect, rhizomatous, dioecious (male and female flowers occur on separate plants) perennial; unbranched; can grow to 6 ft. in height; covered with minute needle-like stinging hairs that can cause a painful burning sensation lasting many hours.
  • Leaves: opposite, 2-6 in. long with leaf bases broadly ovate to cordate (heart-shaped) and leaf margins serrate; stipules (outgrowths on either side of leaf stalk) are 5-15 mm long.
  • Flowers, fruits and seeds: flowers are branched, many-flowered, and emerge from below the petioles which they exceed in length; flowers occur May-July; fruits occur July-September.
  • Spreads: by seed.
  • Look-alikes: may be confused with other members of the nettle family including American stinging nettle (U. gracilis), which is usually monoecious, stouter and more sparsely hairy; wood nettle (Laportea canadensis) which is alternate leaved; false-nettle (Boehmeria cylindrica) and clearweed (Pilea) which lack stinging hairs.

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Description

Dioecious, perennial, 50-150 cm herb with a dense indumentum of stinging hairs. Stem angled. Leaves with 1.5-4 cm long petiole; lamina narrowly lanceolate to ovate, 5-12 cm long, 2.5-8 cm broad, cordate at the base, margin serrate, apex acute-acuminate; stipules free lateral, oblong-lanceolate, 8-12 mm long, ciliate. Racemes of cymes axillary, often longer than the subtending petiole, densely appressed pubescent, with scattered stinging hairs. Flowers pale-greenish, or whitish, bracteate; bracts of male flowers smaller than those of female flowers. Sepals pubescent. Achenes up to c. 1.5 mm long, ovoid-ellipsoid, pale green or greenish-brown.
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Elevation Range

3000-4500 m
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Description

Herbs perennial, dioecious, rarely monoecious. Rhizomes woody, stoloniferous. Stems simple or few branched, 40-100 cm tall; stems and petioles often densely or sometimes sparsely covered with stinging and setulose hairs. Stipules free, linear, (2-)5-8 mm; petiole 2.5-4 cm; leaf blade ovate, sometimes lanceolate, 5-13 × 2.5-6 cm, often herbaceous, (3-)5-veined, lateral basal veins reaching distal margin and anastomosing, secondary veins 3-5 each side, adaxial surface sparsely covered with stinging and setulose hairs, abaxial surface often densely covered with long, stinging and setulose hairs along veins, base cordate, margin coarsely 15-21-serrate or -dentate, teeth often incurved-tipped, apex acuminate or long acuminate; cystoliths punctiform. Inflorescences paniculate, 3-7 cm; female inflorescences with slender axes, often drooping in fruit. Male flowers in bud ca. 1.4 mm; perianth lobes connate 1/2 of length, puberulent. Female flowers: perianth lobes connate at 1/4 of lower part, dorsal-ventral lobes elliptic-ovate, 1.2-1.5 mm, sparingly setulose, lateral lobes narrowly elliptic, 2-3 × as long as the dorsal ones, Achene brownish gray, ovoid or narrowly ovoid, slightly compressed, 1-1.2(-1.4) mm, smooth, invested by persistent perianth lobes. Fl. Jun-Aug, fr. Aug-Sep.
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Description

Herbs , perennial, rhizomatous, 5-30 dm. Stems simple or branched, erect or sprawling. Leaf blades elliptic, lanceolate, or narrowly to broadly ovate, 6-20 × 2-13 cm, base rounded to cordate, margins coarsely serrate, sometimes doubly serrate, apex acute or acuminate; cystoliths rounded. Inflorescences paniculate, pedunculate, elongate. Flowers unisexual, staminate and pistillate on same or different plants, staminate ascending, the pistillate lax or recurved. Pistillate flowers: outer tepals linear to narrowly spatulate or lanceolate, 0.8-1.2 mm, inner tepals ovate to broadly ovate, 1.4-1.8 × 1.1-1.3 mm. Achenes ovoid to broadly ovoid, 1-1.3(-1.4) × 0.7-0.9 mm.
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Ecology

Habitat

Key Plant Community Associations

More info for the term: marsh

Stinging nettle is a common understory component of riparian communities
[30,50,52].  In the Santa Ana Mountains along the southern California
Coast, American stinging nettle occurs in the understory of a riparian
woodland dominated by California sycamore (Platanus racemosa), white
alder (Alnus rhombifolia), and red willow (Salix laevigata) [48].  In
Kern County, California, hoary nettle is abundant in the understory of a
Fremont cottonwood (Populus fremontii), Pacific willow (Salix
lasiandra), and red willow community [23].  In Montana, American
stinging nettle occurs in a western redcedar (Thuja plicata) community
in a ravine dissected by spring run-off channels [18].

Stinging nettle occurs in and adjacent to marshes and meadows.  In North
Dakota, stinging nettle occurs in a sedge (Carex spp.)-dominated zone
between an emergent marsh and upland meadow [29].

Stinging nettle occurs in moist forest communities in the southern
Appalachian Mountains [4].
  • 4. Brown, Dalton Milford. 1941. Vegetation of Roan Mountain: a phytosociological and successional study. Ecological Monographs. 11: 61-97. [23349]
  • 18. Habeck, James R. 1963. The composition of several climax forest communities in the Lake McDonald area of Glacier National Park. Proceedings of the Montana Academy of Sciences. 23: 37-44. [6532]
  • 23. Holland, Robert F.; Roye, Cynthia L. 1989. Great Valley riparian habitats and the National Registry of Natural Landmarks. In: Abell, Dana L., technical coordinator. Proceedings of the California riparian systems conference: Protection, management, and restoration for the 1990's; 1988 September 22-24; Davis, CA. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-110. Berkeley, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Forest and Range Experiment Station: 69-73. [13511]
  • 29. Martz, Gerald F. 1967. Effects of nesting cover removal on breeding puddle ducks. Journal of Wildlife Management. 31(2): 236-247. [16284]
  • 30. McKell, Cyrus M. 1950. A study of plant succession in the oak brush (Quercus gambelii) zone after fire. Salt Lake City, UT: University of Utah. 79 p. Thesis. [1608]
  • 48. Vogl, Richard J. 1976. An introduction to the plant communities of the Santa Ana and San Jacinto Mountains. In: Latting, June, ed. Symposium proceedings: plant communities of southern California; 1974 May 4; Fullerton, CA. Special Publication No. 2. Berkeley, CA: California Native Plant Society: 77-98. [4230]
  • 50. Wheeler, Gary P.; Fancher, Jack M. 1984. San Diego County riparian systems: current threats and statutory protection efforts. In: Warner, Richard E.; Hendrix, Kathleen M., eds. California riparian systems: Ecology, conservation, and productive management. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press: 838-843. [5875]
  • 52. Zembal, Richard. 1990. Riparian habitat and breeding birds along the Santa Margarita and Santa Ana Rivers of southern California. In: Schoenherr, Allan A., ed. Endangered plant communities of southern California: Proceedings, 15th annual symposium; 1989 October 28; Fullerton, CA. Special Publication No. 3. Claremont, CA: Southern California Botanists: 98-114. [21322]

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Habitat: Rangeland Cover Types

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This species is known to occur in association with the following Rangeland Cover Types (as classified by the Society for Range Management, SRM):

   201  Blue oak woodland
   202  Coast live oak woodland
   203  Riparian woodland
   217  Wetlands
   409  Tall forb
   413  Gambel oak
   422  Riparian
   805  Riparian

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Habitat characteristics

Stinging nettle occurs in moist sites along streams, coulees, and
ditches, on mountain slopes, in woodland clearings, and in disturbed
areas.  Stinging nettle generally grows on deep, rich soils [1,51].
American stinging nettle occurs from sea level to subalpine elevations.
Hoary nettle occurs from sea level to 10,000 feet (3,000 m) elevation in
the southern part of its range and from 2,300 to 6,600 feet (700-2,000
m) elevation in the northern part of its range [51].  Stinging nettle
persists in northern climates, spreading vegetatively rather than by
seed [40].

Stinging nettle occurs both in wetlands and in uplands.  It is a
facultative wetland species [36].  Stinging nettle is present in the
seasonally flooded emergent zone of oxbow lakes along the Connecticut
River [22].  Persistent flooding kills stinging nettle [20].
  • 1. Bassett, I. J.; Crompton, C. W.; Woodland, D. W. 1977. The biology of Canadian weeds. 21. Urtica dioica L. Canadian Journal of Plant Science. 57: 491-498. [24185]
  • 20. Haslam, S. M. 1971. Community regulation in Phragmites communis Trin. I. Monodominant stands. Journal of Ecology. 59: 65-73. [16677]
  • 22. Holland, Marjorie M.; Burk, C. John. 1990. The marsh vegetation of three Connecticut River oxbows: a ten-year comparison. Rhodora. 92(871): 166-204. [14521]
  • 36. Reed, Porter B., Jr. 1988. National list of plant species that occur in wetlands: Alaska (Region A). Biological Report 88(26.11). Washington, DC: U.S Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service. In cooperation with: National and Regional Interagency Review Panels. 86 p. [9328]
  • 40. Staniforth, Richard J.; Scott, Peter A. 1991. Dynamics of weed populations in a northern subarctic community. Canadian Journal of Botany. 69: 814-821. [14944]
  • 51. Woodland, Dennis W. 1982. Biosystematics of the perennial North American taxa of Urtica. II. Taxonomy. Systematic Botany. 7(3): 282-290. [24186]

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Habitat: Ecosystem

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This species is known to occur in the following ecosystem types (as named by the U.S. Forest Service in their Forest and Range Ecosystem [FRES] Type classification):

   Stinging nettle probably occurs in most ecosystems.

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Habitat: Cover Types

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This species is known to occur in association with the following cover types (as classified by the Society of American Foresters):

    63  Cottonwood
   222  Black cottonwood-willow
   228  Western redcedar
   229  Pacific Douglas-fir
   230  Douglas-fir-western hemlock
   234  Douglas-fir-tanoak-Pacific madrone
   237  Interior ponderosa pine
   243  Sierra Nevada mixed conifer
   244  Pacific ponderosa pine-Douglas-fir
   245  Pacific ponderosa pine
   246  California black oak
   249  Canyon live oak
   250  Blue oak-foothills pine
   255  California coast live oak

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Habitat: Plant Associations

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This species is known to occur in association with the following plant community types (as classified by Küchler 1964):

   K002  Cedar-hemlock-Douglas-fir forest
   K005  Mixed conifer forest
   K011  Western ponderosa forest
   K012  Douglas-fir forest
   K013  Cedar-hemlock-pine forest
   K030  California oakwoods
   K037  Mountain-mahogany-oak scrub
   K093  Great Lakes spruce-fir forest
   K095  Great Lakes pine forest
   K096  Northeastern spruce-fir forest
   K097  Southeastern spruce-fir forest
   K098  Northern floodplain forest
   K102  Beech-maple forest
   K113  Southern floodplain forest

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Moist places in forests, thickets, grasslands, stream banks; (500-) 2200-5000 m.
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The common nettle prefers damp soils that are rich in nutrients. It occurs in a broad variety of habitats, such as woods, unmanaged grasslands, scrub, hedgerows, road verges, waste ground, gardens, farmland, fens and river banks (3).
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Associations

Foodplant / saprobe
ascoma of Acrospermum compressum is saprobic on dead stem (esp. near base) of Urtica dioica
Remarks: season: 2-6
Other: major host/prey

Foodplant / miner
solitary larva of Agromyza anthracina mines leaf of Urtica dioica
Other: sole host/prey

Foodplant / miner
larva of Agromyza pseudoreptans mines leaf of Urtica dioica
Other: sole host/prey

Foodplant / miner
larva of Agromyza reptans mines leaf of Urtica dioica
Other: sole host/prey

Foodplant / saprobe
apothecium of Allophylaria macrospora is saprobic on dead stem of Urtica dioica
Remarks: season: 9-10

Foodplant / saprobe
effuse colony of Alernaria dematiaceous anamorph of Alternaria alternata is saprobic on dead stem of Urtica dioica

Foodplant / internal feeder
larva of Apion urticarium feeds within stem node of Urtica dioica

Foodplant / saprobe
pulvinate colony of Arthrinium dematiaceous anamorph of Arthrinium urticae is saprobic on dead stem of Urtica dioica
Remarks: season: 11

In Great Britain and/or Ireland:
Foodplant / spot causer
epiphyllous, scattered, immersed pycnidium of Ascochyta coelomycetous anamorph of Ascochyta urtica causes spots on leaf of Urtica dioica
Remarks: season: 8

Foodplant / saprobe
sessile apothecium of Belonidium sulphureum is saprobic on dead stem of Urtica dioica
Remarks: season: 8-10
Other: major host/prey

Foodplant / parasite
effuse colony of Botryosporium anamorph of Botryosporium pulchrum parasitises live Urtica dioica
Remarks: season: 5-11
Other: major host/prey

Foodplant / saprobe
colony of Botrytis dematiaceous anamorph of Botrytis cinerea is saprobic on dead stem of Urtica dioica

Foodplant / saprobe
colony of Cylindrocolla anamorph of Calloria neglecta is saprobic on dead stem of Urtica dioica
Remarks: season: 1-2

Foodplant / saprobe
gregarious, shortly stalked apothecium of Calycina herbarum is saprobic on dead stem of Urtica dioica
Remarks: season: 9-12
Other: major host/prey

Foodplant / feeds on
basidiome of Calyptella capula feeds on living, dying, dead Urtica dioica
Other: major host/prey

Foodplant / saprobe
effuse colony of Camposporium dematiaceous anamorph of Camposporium pellucidum is saprobic on dead stem of Urtica dioica

Plant / resting place / on
adult of Chrysolina fastuosa may be found on Urtica dioica
Remarks: season: 3-12

Foodplant / open feeder
adult of Chrysolina polita grazes on live leaf of Urtica dioica
Remarks: season: (1-)5-7(-12)

Foodplant / saprobe
fruitbody of Coprinopsis urticicola is saprobic on decayed debris of Urtica dioica
Remarks: season: summer

Foodplant / saprobe
fruitbody of Crepidotus luteolus is saprobic on dead stem of Urtica dioica

Foodplant / saprobe
apothecium of Crocicreas coronatum is saprobic on dead stem of Urtica dioica
Remarks: season: 9-11

Foodplant / saprobe
apothecium of Crocicreas cyathoideum var. cyathoideum is saprobic on dead stem of Urtica dioica
Remarks: season: 3-10

Foodplant / gall
Cuscuta europaea causes gall of Urtica dioica
Other: major host/prey

Plant / associate
fruitbody of Cystolepiota bucknallii is associated with Urtica dioica

Plant / associate
fruitbody of Cystolepiota seminuda is associated with Urtica dioica

Foodplant / saprobe
effuse colony of Dendryphiella dematiaceous anamorph of Dendryphiella infuscans is saprobic on dead stem of Urtica dioica
Remarks: season: 4-5

Foodplant / saprobe
effuse colony of Dendryphiella dematiaceous anamorph of Dendryphiella vinosa is saprobic on dead stem of Urtica dioica
Remarks: season: 5-9

Foodplant / saprobe
colony of Dendryphion dematiaceous anamorph of Dendryphion comosum is saprobic on dead stem of Urtica dioica
Remarks: season: 1-12
Other: major host/prey

Foodplant / saprobe
colony of Dendryphion dematiaceous anamorph of Dendryphion nanum is saprobic on dead stem of Urtica dioica

Foodplant / saprobe
immersed perithecium of Diaporthe arctii is saprobic on dead, blackened stem of Urtica dioica
Remarks: season: 7-11

Foodplant / saprobe
densely scattered, immersed, scarcely erumpent pycnidium of Phomopsis coelomycetous anamorph of Diaporthe tulasnei is saprobic on dead stem of Urtica dioica
Remarks: season: 1-4

Foodplant / saprobe
stromatic, immersed, sometimes confluent conidioma of Apomelasmia coelomycetous anamorph of Diaporthopsis urticae is saprobic on dead stem of Urtica dioica
Remarks: season: 2-3

Foodplant / saprobe
effuse colony of Dictyosporium dematiaceous anamorph of Dictyosporium toruloides is saprobic on dead stem of Urtica dioica
Remarks: season: 1-12

Plant / associate
adult of Dicyphus errans is associated with live Urtica dioica
Remarks: season: 6-10

Foodplant / saprobe
sessile apothecium of Discocistella grevillei is saprobic on dead stem of Urtica dioica
Remarks: season: 4-8

Foodplant / saprobe
hypophyllous fruitbody of Efibulobasidium albescens is saprobic on dead stem of Urtica dioica

Plant / associate
fruitbody of Entoloma pleopodium is associated with Urtica dioica

Foodplant / saprobe
colony of Epicoccum dematiaceous anamorph of Epicoccum nigrum is saprobic on dead stem of Urtica dioica
Remarks: season: 1-12

Foodplant / parasite
cleistothecium of Erysiphe urticae parasitises live leaf of Urtica dioica
Remarks: season: 9-10

Plant / associate
fruitbody of Geastrum fimbriatum is associated with Urtica dioica
Other: major host/prey

Plant / associate
fruitbody of Geastrum fornicatum is associated with Urtica dioica
Other: unusual host/prey

Plant / associate
fruitbody of Geastrum lageniforme is associated with Urtica dioica
Other: major host/prey

Foodplant / saprobe
scattered or in small groups perithecium of Gibberella cyanogena is saprobic on dead stem of Urtica dioica
Remarks: season: Autumn, Spring

Foodplant / saprobe
clustered perithecium of Gibberella pulicaris is saprobic on dead stem of Urtica dioica
Remarks: season: 1-4

Foodplant / saprobe
effuse colony of Gyrothrix dematiaceous anamorph of Gyrothrix verticillata is saprobic on dead stem of Urtica dioica
Remarks: season: 9

Plant / associate
fruitbody of Hebeloma pallidoluctuosum is associated with Urtica dioica

Plant / resting place / on
colony of Helicobasidium purpureum may be found on live stem of Urtica dioica
Other: major host/prey

Foodplant / sap sucker
nymph of Heterogaster urticae sucks sap of Urtica dioica
Other: sole host/prey

Foodplant / feeds on
adult of Heterotoma planicornis feeds on bud of Urtica dioica

Foodplant / saprobe
superficial, scattered on in small groups, thinly subiculate perithecium of Hydropisphaera arenula is saprobic on dead stem of Urtica dioica
Remarks: season: 1-12

Foodplant / saprobe
sessile apothecium of Lachnum discolor is saprobic on dead stem of Urtica dioica
Remarks: season: 11

Foodplant / saprobe
apothecium of Laetinaevia carneoflavida is saprobic on damp, dead stem of Urtica dioica
Remarks: season: 6-7

Foodplant / saprobe
sessile apothecium of Lasiobelonium mollissimum is saprobic on dead stem of Urtica dioica
Remarks: season: 4-7

Plant / associate
fruitbody of Lepiota boudieri is associated with Urtica dioica
Other: major host/prey

Plant / associate
fruitbody of Lepiota grangei is associated with Urtica dioica

Plant / associate
fruitbody of Lepiota griseovirens is associated with Urtica dioica
Other: minor host/prey

Foodplant / saprobe
mostly superficial Phoma coelomycetous anamorph of Leptosphaeria acuta is saprobic on dead stem (esp. near base) of Urtica dioica
Remarks: season: 6-1

Foodplant / saprobe
erumpent pseudothecium of Leptosphaeria doliolum is saprobic on dead stem of Urtica dioica
Remarks: season: 1-12
Other: major host/prey

Foodplant / saprobe
immersed, sometimes becoming free pseudothecium of Leptospora rubella is saprobic on dead stem of Urtica dioica
Remarks: season: 4-8

Foodplant / saprobe
immersed or semi-immersed pseudothecium of Lophiostoma angustilabrum is saprobic on dead stem of Urtica dioica
Remarks: season: 2-10
Other: major host/prey

Foodplant / saprobe
immersed pseudothecium of Lophiostoma caudatum is saprobic on dead stem of Urtica dioica
Remarks: season: 1-4

Foodplant / saprobe
immersed or semi-immersed pseudothecium of Lophiostoma caulium is saprobic on dead stem of Urtica dioica
Remarks: season: 1-12
Other: major host/prey

Foodplant / saprobe
immersed to partially erumpent pseudothecium of Lophiostoma origani var. rubidum is saprobic on dead, red to deep magenta stained stem of Urtica dioica
Other: major host/prey

Plant / associate
fruitbody of Macrocystidia cucumis is associated with Urtica dioica

Foodplant / saprobe
fruitbody of Marasmiellus candidus is saprobic on dead litter of Urtica dioica

Plant / resting place / within
puparium of Melanagromyza aenea may be found in stem of Urtica dioica
Other: sole host/prey

Plant / associate
fruitbody of Melanophyllum eyrei is associated with Urtica dioica

Plant / associate
fruitbody of Melanophyllum haematospermum is associated with Urtica dioica
Other: major host/prey

Foodplant / sap sucker
Microlophium carnosum sucks sap of Urtica dioica
Remarks: season: 1-12
Other: major host/prey

Foodplant / saprobe
fruitbody of Mycena adscendens is saprobic on dead stem of Urtica dioica

Foodplant / parasite
hypophyllous colony of Ramularia anamorph of Mycosphaerella superflua parasitises live leaf of Urtica dioica
Remarks: season: 4-9

Foodplant / saprobe
extensive, velvety colony of Cladosporium dematiaceous anamorph of Mycosphaerella tulasnei is saprobic on dead stem of Urtica dioica
Remarks: season: 1-12

Plant / associate
fruitbody of Myriostoma coliforme is associated with Urtica dioica

Foodplant / saprobe
immersed, then exposed apothecium of Naemacyclus caulium is saprobic on dead stem (near base) of Urtica dioica
Remarks: season: 4

Foodplant / feeds on
Nedyus quadrimaculatus feeds on Urtica dioica

Foodplant / saprobe
immersed, sometimes becoming superficial pseudothecium of Ophiobolus erythrosporus is saprobic on dead stem of Urtica dioica
Other: major host/prey

Foodplant / sap sucker
nymph of Orthonotus rufifrons sucks sap of flower bud of Urtica dioica
Remarks: season: late 5-

Foodplant / feeds on
larva of Parathelcus pollinarius feeds on Urtica dioica

Foodplant / saprobe
fruitbody of Pellidiscus pallidus is saprobic on dead stem of Urtica dioica

Foodplant / saprobe
effuse colony of Periconia dematiaceous anamorph of Periconia byssoides is saprobic on dead, patchily blackened stem of Urtica dioica
Other: major host/prey

Foodplant / saprobe
effuse colony of Periconia dematiaceous anamorph of Periconia cookei is saprobic on dead stem of Urtica dioica

Foodplant / saprobe
effuse colony of Periconia dematiaceous anamorph of Periconia minutissima is saprobic on dead stem of Urtica dioica
Remarks: season: 1-12
Other: major host/prey

Foodplant / saprobe
synnema of Endophragmia dematiaceous anamorph of Phragmocephala atra is saprobic on dead stem of Urtica dioica
Remarks: season: 10-1

Foodplant / open feeder
imago of Phyllobius pomaceus grazes on live leaf of Urtica dioica

Foodplant / spot causer
scattered pycnidium of Phyllosticta coelomycetous anamorph of Phyllosticta urticae causes spots on live leaf of Urtica dioica
Remarks: season: 7

Plant / resting place / within
puparium of Phytomyza flavicornis may be found in stem of Urtica dioica
Other: sole host/prey

Foodplant / sap sucker
adult of Plagiognathus chrysanthemi sucks sap of Urtica dioica
Remarks: season: late 6-9(10)
Other: minor host/prey

Foodplant / saprobe
grouped, subepidermal perithecium of Plagiosphaera immersa is saprobic on dead stem of Urtica dioica
Remarks: season: 5-8

Foodplant / saprobe
effuse colony of Pleurophragmium dematiaceous anamorph of Pleurophragmium parvisporum is saprobic on dead, partly decorticate stem of Urtica dioica
Remarks: season: 1-12

Foodplant / saprobe
effuse colony of Polyscytalium dematiaceous anamorph of Polyscytalum berkeleyi is saprobic on dead stem (just above soil level) of Urtica dioica
Remarks: season: 3-5

Foodplant / saprobe
subcuticular to erumpent conidioma of Pseudolachnea coelomycetous anamorph of Pseudolachnea hispidula is saprobic on dead stem of Urtica dioica
Remarks: season: esp. Winter

Foodplant / pathogen
hypophyllous colony of Pseudoperonospora urticae infects and damages live, yellowed leaf of Urtica dioica
Remarks: season: 9 & 5
Other: major host/prey

Foodplant / gall
aecium of Puccinia urticata causes gall of live stem of Urtica dioica
Remarks: season: early Spring

Foodplant / parasite
aecium of Puccinia urticata var. biporula parasitises live Urtica dioica

Foodplant / parasite
pycnium of Puccinia urticata var. urticae-acutae parasitises live Urtica dioica

Foodplant / parasite
pycnium of Puccinia urticata var. urticae-acutiformis parasitises live Urtica dioica

Foodplant / parasite
pycnium of Puccinia urticata var. urticae-flaccae parasitises live Urtica dioica

Foodplant / parasite
pycnium of Puccinia urticata var. urticae-hirtae parasitises live Urtica dioica

Foodplant / parasite
aecium of Puccinia urticata var. urticae-inflatae parasitises live Urtica dioica

Foodplant / parasite
pycnium of Puccinia urticata var. urticae-ripariae parasitises live Urtica dioica

Foodplant / parasite
aecium of Puccinia urticata var. urticae-vesicariae parasitises live Urtica dioica

Foodplant / saprobe
immersed pycnidium of Pyrenochaeta coelomycetous anamorph of Pyrenochaeta fallax is saprobic on dead, patchily grey stem of Urtica dioica

Foodplant / saprobe
apothecium of Pyrenopeziza urticicola is saprobic on dead stem of Urtica dioica
Remarks: season: 4-8

Foodplant / saprobe
scattered, subepidermal, black pycnidium of Rhabdospora coelomycetous anamorph of Rhabdospora pleosporoides is saprobic on old, dead stem of Urtica dioica
Remarks: season: 1-3

Plant / associate
fruitbody of Rhodocybe gemina is associated with Urtica dioica
Other: minor host/prey

Foodplant / saprobe
superficial colony of Sarcopodium dematiaceous anamorph of Sarcopodium circinatum is saprobic on dead stem of Urtica dioica

Foodplant / saprobe
tufted colony of Septofusidium anamorph of Septofusidium herbarum is saprobic on dead stem of Urtica dioica

Foodplant / spot causer
immersed, epiphyllous, numerous, greyish-brown pycnidium of Septoria coelomycetous anamorph of Septoria urticae causes spots on live leaf of Urtica dioica
Remarks: season: 5-8

Foodplant / saprobe
colony of Stachybotrys dematiaceous anamorph of Stachybotrys dichroa is saprobic on dead stem of Urtica dioica
Remarks: season: 4-9

Foodplant / saprobe
effuse colony of Stachylidium dematiaceous anamorph of Stachylidium bicolor is saprobic on dead stem of Urtica dioica

Plant / associate
fruitbody of Stropharia caerulea is associated with Urtica dioica

Foodplant / feeds on
female of Thrips urticae feeds on live flower of Urtica dioica
Remarks: season: 5-10

Foodplant / saprobe
effuse colony of Torula dematiaceous anamorph of Torula herbarum is saprobic on dead stem of Urtica dioica
Other: major host/prey

Foodplant / saprobe
effuse colony of Trichocladium dematiaceous anamorph of Trichocladium opacum is saprobic on dead stem of Urtica dioica

Plant / associate
fruitbody of Tubaria albostipitata is associated with Urtica dioica

Foodplant / saprobe
fruitbody of Typhula micans is saprobic on dying stem of Urtica dioica
Other: major host/prey

Plant / associate
fruitbody of Tyromyces wynnei is associated with Urtica dioica
Other: major host/prey

Foodplant / saprobe
apothecium of Unguiculella hamulata is saprobic on dead stem of Urtica dioica
Remarks: season: 5-9

Foodplant / saprobe
colony of Volutella anamorph of Volutella ciliata is saprobic on dead stem of Urtica dioica
Remarks: season: 10-4

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General Ecology

Broad-scale Impacts of Plant Response to Fire

More info for the term: prescribed fire

Hamilton's Research Papers (Hamilton 2006a, Hamilton 2006b)and Metlen and
others' Research Project Summary provide information on prescribed fire
and postfire response of many plant species including stinging nettle.

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Plant Response to Fire

More info for the terms: competition, cover, density, frequency, litter, marsh, rhizome, wildfire

Stinging nettle regenerates from buried rhizomes and/or seed after fire.
Stinging nettle bloomed during the first postfire growing season on a
ravine site in western Montana that burned in mid-July.  Although
stinging nettle thrives on disturbance, its rate of spread after the
fire on this site may have been slowed by competition from orchard grass
(Dactylis glomerata) [8].

One year after a wildfire in northern Utah, stinging nettle was present
at low frequency on plots in a burned Gambel oak (Quercus gambelii)
brush community but was not present on adjacent unburned plots [30].

In southern California, large amounts of sediment were deposited in a
riparian zone after a July fire in a riparian forest dominated by coast
live oak (Q. agrifolia), white alder, and California sycamore.  Stinging
nettle emerged from the sediment and was a common species on lower and
middle terraces in the riparian zone during the 3 years following the
fire [9].

Stinging nettle occurred in a central Wisconsin marsh dominated by
goldenrod (Solidago spp.), butter-and-eggs (Linaria vulgaris), white
meadowsweet (Spiraea alba), and grasses.  Fire was prescribed on two
sites in the spring 1 week after snowmelt.  Approximately 96 percent of
the dry surface fuels were eliminated.  Vegetation was inventoried
during the growing seasons before and after the fires.  Stinging nettle
prefire and postfire covers are as follows [19]:

Prefire cover Postfire cover
Site 1              2.0%      1.8%
Site 2             less than 0.5%      2.5%

Stinging nettle shoot density and biomass after fire depends on the
season of burn.  Stinging nettle shoots per square meter and biomass
measured the first growing season after each fire in a common reed
(Phragmites australis) stand in Delta Marsh, Manitoba, are as follows:

      Density                         Biomass
              (nonseedling shoots/sq m)             (grams/sq m)

Control          6.7 36.2
Summer fire 18.4 33.9
Fall fire  4.9 10.3
Spring fire 18.8 52.9

Stinging nettle biomass was less than in the control the first growing
season after the fall fire.  The authors suggest that the stinging
nettle rhizome buds may have succumbed to winterkill after the fall fire
because there were no dead standing canes to trap snow and insulate the
soil.  Stinging nettle biomass was greater than in the control in the
first growing season after the spring fire.  Stinging nettle is capable
of fast growth and, with the removal of common reed litter by fire, was
able to compete with the common reed.  Stinging nettle biomass did not
differ substantially from the control 1 year after the summer fire.
There were more shoots per meter after the summer fire but the shoots
were smaller than in the control, possibly because resources were depleted
by regrowth immediately after the summer fire [43].

Stinging nettle seedlings established at a density of 6.9 seedlings per
square foot (76.8/sq m) 1 month after the summer fire.  Only a few
seedlings established after the fall and spring fires [43]. 
  • 8. Crane, M. F.; Habeck, James R.; Fischer, William C. 1983. Early postfire revegetation in a western Montana Douglas-fir forest. Res. Pap. INT-319. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. 29 p. plus chart. [710]
  • 9. Davis, Frank W.; Keller, Edward A.; Parikh, Anuja; Florsheim, Joan. 1989. Recovery of the chaparral riparian zone after wildfire. In: Protection, management, and restoration for the 1990's: Proceedings of the California riparian systems conference; 1988 September 22-24; Davis, CA. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-110. Berkeley, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Forest and Range Experiment Station: 194-203. [13883]
  • 19. Halvorsen, Harvey H.; Anderson, Raymond K. 1983. Evaluation of grassland management for wildlife in central Wisconsin. In: Kucera, Clair L., ed. Proceedings, 7th North American prairie conference; 1980 August 4-6; Springfield, MO. Columbia, MO: University of Missouri: 267-279. [3228]
  • 30. McKell, Cyrus M. 1950. A study of plant succession in the oak brush (Quercus gambelii) zone after fire. Salt Lake City, UT: University of Utah. 79 p. Thesis. [1608]
  • 43. Thompson, D. J.; Shay, Jennifer M. 1989. First-year response of a Phragmites marsh community to seasonal burning. Canadian Journal of Botany. 67: 1448-1455. [7312]

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Immediate Effect of Fire

More info for the term: low-severity fire

Stinging nettle is probably top-killed by fire.  Perennating buds on
shallow rhizomes probably survive low-severity fire.

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Post-fire Regeneration

More info for the terms: ground residual colonizer, rhizome

   Rhizomatous herb, rhizome in soil
   Ground residual colonizer (on-site, initial community)
   Initial-offsite colonizer (off-site, initial community)

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Fire Ecology

Stinging nettle survives fire by sprouting from rhizomes.  Removal of
litter by fire may encourage stinging nettle growth and provide suitable
germination sites for seed.  However, frequent fire during the growing
season may reduce stinging nettle [43].
  • 43. Thompson, D. J.; Shay, Jennifer M. 1989. First-year response of a Phragmites marsh community to seasonal burning. Canadian Journal of Botany. 67: 1448-1455. [7312]

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Successional Status

More info on this topic.

More info for the terms: competition, fern

Stinging nettle is probably intermediate in shade tolerance.  It occurs
and produces seed in shady habitats but produces more seed in full sun
[1].

Stinging nettle establishes colonies from which other plants are
virtually excluded.  Competition from grass may limit the spread of
stinging nettle clones [1]

Stinging nettle invades disturbed sites.  It invades forest plantations
in Great Britain when bracken fern (Pteridium aquilinum) is artificially
removed [5].  Stinging nettle colonizes wetland sites when water levels
drop [20,33].  It is an increaser on periodically flooded areas along
Idaho streams [37].
  • 1. Bassett, I. J.; Crompton, C. W.; Woodland, D. W. 1977. The biology of Canadian weeds. 21. Urtica dioica L. Canadian Journal of Plant Science. 57: 491-498. [24185]
  • 5. Cadbury, C. J. 1976. Botanical implications of bracken control. Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society. 73: 285-294. [9621]
  • 20. Haslam, S. M. 1971. Community regulation in Phragmites communis Trin. I. Monodominant stands. Journal of Ecology. 59: 65-73. [16677]
  • 33. Pederson, Roger L. 1981. Seed bank characteristics of the Delta Marsh, Manitoba: applications for wetland management. In: Richardson, B., ed. Midwest conference on wetland values and management: Selected proceedings; 1981 June 17-19; St. Paul, MN. Minneapolis, MN: Freshwater Society: 61-69. [24016]
  • 37. Rosentreter, Roger. 1992. High-water indicator plants along Idaho waterways. In: Clary, Warren P.; McArthur, E. Durant; Bedunah, Don; Wambolt, Carl L., compilers. Proceedings--symposium on ecology and management of riparian shrub communities; 1991 May 29-31; Sun Valley, ID. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-289. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station: 18-24. [19090]

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Regeneration Processes

More info for the term: marsh

Stinging nettle reproduces vegetatively and by seed.

Stinging nettle produces abundant seed.  Plants growing in the shade
produce approximately 500 to 5,000 seeds per shoot and plants growing in
full sunlight produce 10,000 to 20,000 seeds per shoot.  Seeds remain on
the plant until frost when they fall to the ground.  Seeds are not
dormant and can germinate 5 to 10 days after maturity [1]. 

Buried stinging nettle seeds persist an undetermined length of time in
the seedbank [7,26,33,34,44].  Stinging nettle seedlings emerged from
unflooded substrate samples collected from the Delta Marsh, Manitoba
[33].  Stinging nettle seeds, mostly buried less than 2 inches (5 cm)
deep, occurred in the seedbanks of three forest communities in Idaho
[26].  Stinging nettle seedlings emerged from soil samples collected
from a ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa)/common snowberry (Symphoricarpos
albus) habitat type in Washington.  April collections contained 48
stinging nettle seeds per square foot (533/sq m) and October collections
contained 6 seeds per square foot (67/sq m).  Most stinging nettle seeds
were buried less than 4 inches (10 cm) deep, but some were present to 10
inches (25 cm) [34].  Stinging nettle seeds have germinated in the
greenhouse after 10 years of storage [1].

Stinging nettle spreads and reproduces vegetatively by rhizomes.
Seedlings initiate vegetative spread in the first growing season.  A
rhizome planted in late summer can spread into an 8.2 foot (2.5 m)
diameter area by the following year [1].

Stinging nettle has a strong shoot thrust.  The ability to generate
mechanical force enables the plant to extend its shoots vertically into
dominant aerial positions [6].
  • 1. Bassett, I. J.; Crompton, C. W.; Woodland, D. W. 1977. The biology of Canadian weeds. 21. Urtica dioica L. Canadian Journal of Plant Science. 57: 491-498. [24185]
  • 6. Campbell, B. D.; Grime, J. P.; Mackey, J. M. L. 1992. Shoot thrust and its role in plant competition. Journal of Ecology. 80: 633-641. [21227]
  • 7. Champness, Stella S.; Morris, Kathleen. 1948. The population of buried viable seeds in relation to contrasting pasture and soil types. Journal of Ecology. 36: 149-173. [20023]
  • 26. Kramer, Neal B.; Johnson, Frederic D. 1987. Mature forest seed banks of three habitat types in central Idaho. Canadian Journal of Botany. 65: 1961-1966. [3961]
  • 33. Pederson, Roger L. 1981. Seed bank characteristics of the Delta Marsh, Manitoba: applications for wetland management. In: Richardson, B., ed. Midwest conference on wetland values and management: Selected proceedings; 1981 June 17-19; St. Paul, MN. Minneapolis, MN: Freshwater Society: 61-69. [24016]
  • 34. Pratt, David W.; Black, R. Alan; Zamora, B. A. 1984. Buried viable seed in a ponderosa pine community. Canadian Journal of Botany. 62: 44-52. [16219]
  • 44. Thompson, K.; Grime, J. P. 1979. Seasonal variation in the seed banks of herbaceous species in ten contrasting habitats. Journal of Ecology. 67: 893-921. [90]

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Growth Form (according to Raunkiær Life-form classification)

More info on this topic.

More info for the term: hemicryptophyte

  
   Hemicryptophyte

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Life Form

More info for the term: forb

Forb

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Life History and Behavior

Cyclicity

Phenology

More info on this topic.

Stinging nettle sends new shoots up each year from perennating buds on
rhizomes.  Maximum root development occurs in the spring prior to
flowering.  American stinging nettle flowers from late May to October,
European stinging nettle flowers from June to October, and hoary nettle
flowers from July to October.  In northern areas, flowering is condensed
into a shorter time period, ending in late August [1,51].
  • 1. Bassett, I. J.; Crompton, C. W.; Woodland, D. W. 1977. The biology of Canadian weeds. 21. Urtica dioica L. Canadian Journal of Plant Science. 57: 491-498. [24185]
  • 51. Woodland, Dennis W. 1982. Biosystematics of the perennial North American taxa of Urtica. II. Taxonomy. Systematic Botany. 7(3): 282-290. [24186]

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Flower/Fruit

Fl. Per.: May-September.
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© Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Boulevard, St. Louis, MO, 63110 USA

Source: Missouri Botanical Garden

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Evolution and Systematics

Functional Adaptations

Functional adaptation

Poisonous sting wards off predators: nettles
 

Nettles ward off predators via stinging hairs.

   
  "Other plants defend themselves even more aggressively. They sting. The nettle's sting is a modified hair. Its tip is a minute glassy needle which if given even the slightest touch, breaks off. The broken edges are so sharp that they can cut skin. At the same time a poison held in a small chamber at the bottom of the hair squirts into the wound. The poison [formic acid] causes us considerable pain." (Attenborough 1995:64-65)
  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: Urtica dioica

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 13
Specimens with Barcodes: 28
Species With Barcodes: 1
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© Barcode of Life Data Systems

Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

Canada

Rounded National Status Rank: N5 - Secure

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: N5 - Secure

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© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure

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© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

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Status

Extremely common and widespread (3).
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© Wildscreen

Source: ARKive

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Threats

This species is not threatened.
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Management

Management considerations

More info for the terms: invasive species, marsh

Stinging nettle is considered a weedy, invasive species.  It is listed
as a noxious weed in several Canadian provinces.  Stinging nettle hairs
are irritating to human skin, and the pollen is a major contributor to
summer hay fever [1].

When distributed through the soil by disturbance such as mechanical
cultivation, stinging nettle rhizomes can establish dense new colonies.
However, repeated plowing will eliminate stinging nettle.  When mowed,
stinging nettle sends up numerous bushy shoots [1].

Spraying with 2,4-D herbicide substantially reduced stinging nettle
cover in a central Wisconsin marsh [19].

Stinging nettle is used by foresters as an indicator of high soil
fertility [38].

Insects, micro-organisms, and viruses associated with stinging nettle
are listed [1].
  • 1. Bassett, I. J.; Crompton, C. W.; Woodland, D. W. 1977. The biology of Canadian weeds. 21. Urtica dioica L. Canadian Journal of Plant Science. 57: 491-498. [24185]
  • 19. Halvorsen, Harvey H.; Anderson, Raymond K. 1983. Evaluation of grassland management for wildlife in central Wisconsin. In: Kucera, Clair L., ed. Proceedings, 7th North American prairie conference; 1980 August 4-6; Springfield, MO. Columbia, MO: University of Missouri: 267-279. [3228]
  • 38. Schreiner, Ernst J. 1959. Production of poplar timber in Europe and its significance and application in the United States. Agric. Handb. No. 150. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 124 p. [16479]

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Prevention and Control

Due to its popularity in some circles as an edible plant, it may be purchased and cultivated. If grown, ensure that it does not spread beyond the planted site by removing flowers and fruits and killing back if it does begin to beyond the intended area. Manual, mechanical and chemical methods are available and effective.

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Conservation

Conservation action is not required for this species.
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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Economic Uses

Uses: FIBER, Textile/cordage

Comments: This plant is a source of fiber. Stinging nettle - hairs can penetrate skin and be fatal.

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Source: NatureServe

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Cover Value

More info for the term: cover

Mallards and gadwalls prefer tall, dense nesting cover provided by
graminoids and herbaceous vegetation including stinging nettle [42].
Stinging nettle is a component of roughs which are good cover for
sharp-tailed grouse in Wisconsin [16].  Although listed as generally
poor wildlife cover by Dittberner and Olson [10], stinging nettle cover
is listed as fair for small nongame birds and mammals in Utah.
  • 10. Dittberner, Phillip L.; Olson, Michael R. 1983. The plant information network (PIN) data base: Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming. FWS/OBS-83/86. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service. 786 p. [806]
  • 16. Grange, Wallace B. 1948. The realtion of fire to grouse. In: Wisconsin grouse problems. Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Project No. 5R. Pub. 328. Madison, WI: Wisconsin Conservation Department: 193-205. [15908]
  • 42. Swanson, George A.; Duebbert, Harold F. 1989. Wetland habitats of waterfowl in the prairie pothole region. In: van der Valk, Arnold, ed. Northern prairie wetlands. Ames, IA: Iowa State University Press: 228-267. [15218]

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Importance to Livestock and Wildlife

More info for the term: cover

The wildlife food value of stinging nettle is listed as poor [10],
probably because of stinging hairs on the foliage.  Stinging nettle
provides cover for small animals [10,16,42].
  • 10. Dittberner, Phillip L.; Olson, Michael R. 1983. The plant information network (PIN) data base: Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming. FWS/OBS-83/86. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service. 786 p. [806]
  • 16. Grange, Wallace B. 1948. The realtion of fire to grouse. In: Wisconsin grouse problems. Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Project No. 5R. Pub. 328. Madison, WI: Wisconsin Conservation Department: 193-205. [15908]
  • 42. Swanson, George A.; Duebbert, Harold F. 1989. Wetland habitats of waterfowl in the prairie pothole region. In: van der Valk, Arnold, ed. Northern prairie wetlands. Ames, IA: Iowa State University Press: 228-267. [15218]

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Other uses and values

Boiled stinging nettle leaves are edible and can be substituted for
spinach [1,11].

Stinging nettle fibers were used by Native Americans in the Northwest to
make twine, fishing nets, and rope.  Stinging nettle has many medicinal
uses [45].
  • 1. Bassett, I. J.; Crompton, C. W.; Woodland, D. W. 1977. The biology of Canadian weeds. 21. Urtica dioica L. Canadian Journal of Plant Science. 57: 491-498. [24185]
  • 45. Turner, Nancy Chapman; Bell, Marcus A. M. 1973. The ethnobotany of the southern Kwakiutl Indians of British Columbia. Economic Botany. 27: 257-310. [21015]
  • 11. Elias, Thomas S.; Dykeman, Peter A. 1982. Field guide to North American edible wild plants. [Place of publication unknown]: Outdoor Life Books. 286 p. [21103]

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Value for rehabilitation of disturbed sites

Stinging nettle may be tolerant of heavy metals.  It is an abundant
species on metal-contaminated soil on the floodplain of a former Rhine
River estuary in the Netherlands [31].
  • 31. Otte, M. L.; Wijte, A. H. B. M. 1993. Environmental variation between habitats and uptake of heavy metals by Urtica dioica. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment. 28(3): 263-275. [24187]

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Nutritional Value

Stinging nettle is very nutritious.  Stinging nettle hay contains 21 to
23 percent crude protein, 3 to 5 percent crude fats, 35 to 39 percent
non-nitrogen extracts, 9 to 21 percent crude fiber, and 19 to 29 percent
ash.  Amino acids in dehydrated stinging nettle meal are nutritionally
superior to those of dehydrated alfalfa (Medicago sativa) meal [1].
  • 1. Bassett, I. J.; Crompton, C. W.; Woodland, D. W. 1977. The biology of Canadian weeds. 21. Urtica dioica L. Canadian Journal of Plant Science. 57: 491-498. [24185]

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Palatability

Stinging nettle is unpalatable to livestock [10].
  • 10. Dittberner, Phillip L.; Olson, Michael R. 1983. The plant information network (PIN) data base: Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming. FWS/OBS-83/86. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service. 786 p. [806]

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Uses

Our ancestors used nettles
  • as food
  • for fibre
  • in medicine
and some of these uses are being revived today.

Food
Young shoots of nettle can be
  • eaten as a green vegetable, similar to spinach
  • used in
    • soups
    • quiches
  • are good simply mashed with potatoes
Early in the nineteenth century in Scotland nettles were valued for food to the extent that they were cultivated under glass.

Fibre
Nettles have a long history as a source of fibre, and as a dye. During the Second World War schoolchildren were encouraged to collect nettles so that a dark green dye, used for camouflage, could be extracted from them.

Medicine
In the British Isles it was widely thought that beating limbs with nettles would relieve rheumatic pains. At present research is being carried out into the use of nettles to cure arthritis. Other medicinal uses include the treatment of
  • asthma
  • skin complaints
  • hay fever
  • as a spring tonic
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Risks

Ecological Threat in the United States

This plant can become well established in floodplain areas and push out native plants, impacting spring ephemeral species as well as those that emerge later in spring and through the summer.

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Wikipedia

Urtica dioica

Stinging nettle redirects here, see also Urtica incisa
For other plants that sting, see Stinging plant#Plants with stinging hairs.

Urtica dioica, often called common nettle or stinging nettle (although not all plants of this species sting), is a herbaceous perennial flowering plant, native to Europe, Asia, northern Africa, and North America, and is the best-known member of the nettle genus Urtica. The species is divided into six subspecies, five of which have many hollow stinging hairs called trichomes on the leaves and stems, which act like hypodermic needles, injecting histamine and other chemicals that produce a stinging sensation when contacted by humans and other animals.[1] The plant has a long history of use as a medicine, as a food source and as a source of fibre.

Description[edit]

Urtica dioica from Thomé, Flora von Deutschland, Österreich und der Schweiz 1885.

Urtica dioica is a dioecious herbaceous perennial, 1 to 2 m (3 to 7 ft) tall in the summer and dying down to the ground in winter. It has widely spreading rhizomes and stolons, which are bright yellow, as are the roots. The soft green leaves are 3 to 15 cm (1 to 6 in) long and are borne oppositely on an erect wiry green stem. The leaves have a strongly serrated margin, a cordate base and an acuminate tip with a terminal leaf tooth longer than adjacent laterals. It bears small greenish or brownish numerous flowers in dense axillary inflorescences. The leaves and stems are very hairy with non-stinging hairs and in most subspecies also bear many stinging hairs (trichomes), whose tips come off when touched, transforming the hair into a needle that will inject several chemicals: acetylcholine, histamine, 5-HT (serotonin), moroidin,[2] leukotrienes,[2] and possibly formic acid.[3][4] This mixture of chemical compounds cause a painful sting or paresthesia from which the species derives one of its common names, stinging nettle, as well as the colloquial names burn nettle, burn weed, and burn hazel.[5]

Taxonomy[edit]

The taxonomy of Urtica species has been confused, and older sources are likely to use a variety of systematic names for these plants. Formerly, more species were recognised than are now accepted. However, there are at least six clear subspecies of U. dioica, some formerly classified as separate species:

  • U. dioica subsp. dioica (European stinging nettle). Europe, Asia, northern Africa. Has stinging hairs.
  • U. dioica subsp. galeopsifolia (fen nettle or stingless nettle). Europe. Does not have stinging hairs.
  • U. dioica subsp. afghanica. Southwestern and central Asia. Sometimes has stinging hairs, is sometimes hairless.[6]
  • U. dioica subsp. gansuensis. Eastern Asia (China). Has stinging hairs.[6]
  • U. dioica subsp. gracilis (Ait.) Selander (American stinging nettle). North America. Has stinging hairs.
  • U. dioica subsp. holosericea (Nutt.) Thorne (hoary stinging nettle). North America. Has stinging hairs.[7]

Other species names formerly accepted as distinct by some authors but now regarded as synonyms of one or other subspecies include U. breweri, U. californica, U. cardiophylla, U. lyalli, U. major, U. procera, U. serra, U. strigosissima, U. trachycarpa, and U. viridis.

Distribution[edit]

Urtica dioca is abundant in northern Europe and much of Asia, usually found in the countryside. It is less widespread in southern Europe and north Africa, where it is restricted by its need for moist soil but still common to find. In North America it is widely distributed in Canada and the United States, where it is found in every province and state except for Hawaii and also can be found in northernmost Mexico. It grows in abundance in the Pacific Northwest, especially in places where annual rainfall is high. The European subspecies has been introduced into North America as well as South America.[8][9]

In Europe nettles have a strong association with human habitation and buildings. The presence of nettles may indicate that a building has been long abandoned. Human and animal waste may be responsible for elevated levels of phosphate and nitrogen in the soil, providing an ideal environment for nettles.

Ecology[edit]

A stinging nettle growing in a field

Nettles are the exclusive larval food plant for several species of butterfly, such as the Peacock Butterfly[10] or the Small Tortoiseshell, and are also eaten by the larvae of some moths including Angle Shades, Buff Ermine, Dot Moth, The Flame, The Gothic, Grey Chi, Grey Pug, Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing, Mouse Moth, Setaceous Hebrew Character and Small Angle Shades. The roots are sometimes eaten by the larva of the Ghost Moth Hepialus humuli.

Stinging nettle is particularly found as an understory plant in wetter environments, but it is also found in meadows. Although nutritious, it is not widely eaten by either wildlife or livestock, presumably because of the sting. It spreads by abundant seeds and also via rhizomes, and is often able to survive/reestablish quickly after fire.[11]

Medicinal uses[edit]

Nettle leaf is a herb that has a long tradition of use as an adjuvant remedy in the treatment of arthritis in Germany. Nettle leaf extract contains active compounds that reduce TNF-α and other inflammatory cytokines.[12][13] It has been demonstrated that nettle leaf lowers TNF-α levels by potently inhibiting the genetic transcription factor that activates TNF-α and IL-1B in the synovial tissue that lines the joint.[14]

Urtica dioica herb has been used in the traditional Austrian medicine internally (as tea or fresh leaves) for treatment of disorders of the kidneys and urinary tract, gastrointestinal tract, locomotor system, skin, cardio-vascular system, hemorrhage, flu, rheumatism and gout.[15]

Nettle is used in shampoo to control dandruff and is said to make hair more glossy, which is why some farmers include a handful of nettles with cattle feed.[16]

Nettle root extracts have been extensively studied in human clinical trials as a treatment for symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). These extracts have been shown to help relieve symptoms compared to placebo both by themselves [17] and when combined with other herbal medicines.[18]

Because it contains 3,4-divanillyltetrahydrofuran, certain extracts of the nettle are used by bodybuilders in an effort to increase free testosterone by occupying sex-hormone binding globulin.[19]

As Old English stiðe, nettle is one of the nine plants invoked in the pagan Anglo-Saxon Nine Herbs Charm, recorded in the 10th century. Nettle is believed to be a galactagogue, a substance that promotes lactation.[20]

Urtication, or flogging with nettles, is the process of deliberately applying stinging nettles to the skin in order to provoke inflammation. An agent thus used is known as a rubefacient (something that causes redness). This is done as a folk remedy for rheumatism, providing temporary relief from pain.[21] The counter-irritant action to which this is often attributed can be preserved by the preparation of an alcoholic tincture which can be applied as part of a topical preparation, but not as an infusion, which drastically reduces the irritant action.

Extracts of Urtica dioica leaves may help with glycemic control in type 2 diabetes patients that need to use insulin.[22]

Food[edit]

The nettle can be used as a foodstuff, as the purée shown in the above image.

Urtica dioica has a flavour similar to spinach and cucumber when cooked and is rich in vitamins A, C, iron, potassium, manganese, and calcium. Young plants were harvested by Native Americans and used as a cooked plant in spring when other food plants were scarce.[23] Soaking stinging nettles in water or cooking will remove the stinging chemicals from the plant, which allows them to be handled and eaten without incidence of stinging. After the stinging nettle enters its flowering and seed setting stages the leaves develop gritty particles called "cystoliths", which can irritate the urinary tract.[23] In its peak season, nettle contains up to 25% protein, dry weight, which is high for a leafy green vegetable.[24] The young leaves are edible and make a very good pot-herb. The leaves are also dried and may then be used to make an herbal tea, as can also be done with the nettle's flowers.

Nettles can be used in a variety of recipes, such as polenta, pesto and purée.[25] Nettle soup is a common use of the plant, particularly in Northern and Eastern Europe. In Nepal and the Kumaon & Gargwal region of Northern India, stinging nettle is known as sisnu, kandeli and bicchu-booti (बिच्छू-बूटी in Hindi) respectively. It is also found in abundance in Kashmir. There it is called soi. It is a very popular vegetable and cooked with Indian spices.

Nettles are sometimes used in cheese making, for example in the production of Yarg[26] and as a flavouring in varieties of Gouda.[27]

Nettles are used in Albania as part of the dough filling for the byrek. Its name is byrek me hithra. The top baby leaves are selected and simmered, then mixed with other ingredients like herbs, rice, etc. before being used as a filling between dough layers.[28][29]

Competitive eating[edit]

In the UK, an annual World Nettle Eating Championship draws thousands of people to Dorset, where competitors attempt to eat as much of the raw plant as possible. Competitors are given 60 cm (20 in) stalks of the plant, from which they strip the leaves and eat them. Whoever strips and eats the most stinging nettle leaves in a fixed time is the winner. The competition dates back to 1986, when two neighbouring farmers attempted to settle a dispute about which had the worst infestation of nettles.[30][31]

Drink[edit]

Nettle leaves are steeped in a concentrated sugar solution so the flavour is extracted into the sugar solution. The leaves are then removed and a source of citric acid (usually lemon juice) is added to help preserve the cordial and add a tart flavour.

Commercially produced cordials are generally quite concentrated and are usually diluted by one part cordial to ten parts water – thus a 0.5 litres (0.11 imp gal; 0.13 US gal) bottle of cordial would be enough for 5.5 litres (1.2 imp gal; 1.5 US gal) diluted. The high concentration of sugar in nettle cordial gives it a long shelf life.

There are also many recipes for alcoholic nettle beer, which is a countryside favourite in the British Isles.[32]

Nettle sting treatment[edit]

D. urticaria: close-up of the defensive hairs
A hand with a large sting, with visible bumps on the skin.

Anti-itch drugs, usually in the form of creams containing antihistaminics or hydrocortisone may provide relief from the symptoms of being stung by nettles.[33] But because of the combination of chemicals involved, other remedies may be required. Calamine lotion may be helpful. Many folk remedies exist for treating the itching, including Dandelion, horsetail (Equisetopsida spp.), leaf of dock (Rumex spp.), Greater Plantain, Jewelweed (Impatiens capensis and Impatiens pallida), the underside of a fern (the spores), mud, saliva, or baking soda, oil and onions, lemon juice, and topical use of milk of magnesia.[33]

Influence on language and culture[edit]

In Great Britain and Ireland the stinging nettle (U. dioica subsp. dioica) is the only common stinging plant and has found a place in several figures of speech in the English language. Shakespeare's Hotspur urges that "out of this nettle, danger, we pluck this flower, safety" (Henry IV, part 1, Act II Scene 3). The figure of speech "to grasp the nettle" probably originated from Aesop's fable "The Boy and the Nettle".[34] In Sean O'Casey's Juno and the Paycock one of the characters quotes Aesop "Gently touch a nettle and it'll sting you for your pains/Grasp it as a lad of mettle and soft as silk remains". The metaphor may refer to the fact that if a nettle plant is grasped firmly rather than brushed against, it does not sting so readily, because the hairs are crushed down flat and do not penetrate the skin so easily.[35] In the German language, the idiom "sich in die Nesseln setzen", or to sit in nettles, means to get into trouble.[citation needed] In Hungarian, the idiom "csalánba nem üt a mennykő" (no lightning strikes the nettle) means bad things never happen to bad people.[citation needed] The same idiom exists in the Serbian language.[citation needed] In Dutch, a "netelige situatie" means a predicament.[citation needed]

Textiles[edit]

Nettle stems contain a bast fibre that has been traditionally used for the same purposes as linen and is produced by a similar retting process. Unlike cotton, nettles grow easily without pesticides. The fibres are coarser however.[36]

Historically, nettles have been used to make clothing for 2,000 years, and German Army uniforms were made from nettle during World War I due to a shortage of cotton. More recently, companies in Austria, Germany and Italy have started to produce commercial nettle textiles.[37][38]

Nettles may be used as a dye-stuff, producing yellow from the roots, or yellowish green from the leaves.[39]

Gardening[edit]

As well as the potential for encouraging beneficial insects, nettles have a number of other uses in the vegetable garden.

The growth of nettles is an indicator that an area has high fertility (especially phosphorus) and has been disturbed.[40][41]

Nettles contain a lot of nitrogen and so are used as a compost activator[42] or can be used to make a liquid fertiliser which although somewhat low in phosphate is useful in supplying magnesium, sulphur and iron.[43][44] They are also one of the few plants that can tolerate, and flourish in, soils rich in poultry droppings.

Recent experiments have shown that nettles are a beneficial weed, having use as a companion plant.[45]

Urtica dioica can be a troubling weed, and mowing can increase plant density.[46] Regular and persistent tilling will greatly reduce its numbers, the use of herbicides such as 2,4-D and Glyphosate, are effective control measures.[46]

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Per Brodal (2010). The Central Nervous System: Structure and Function. Oxford University Press US. p. 170. ISBN 978-0-19-538115-3. Retrieved 22 September 2010. 
  2. ^ a b Nettle (Stinging). Wildflowerfinder.org.uk. Retrieved on 2012-07-03.
  3. ^ Louis J. Casarett; Curtis D. Klaassen; John Doull (2008). Casarett and Doull's toxicology: the basic science of poisons. McGraw-Hill Professional. pp. 1104–. ISBN 978-0-07-147051-3. Retrieved 22 September 2010. 
  4. ^ Michael I. Greenberg (4 June 2003). Occupational, industrial, and environmental toxicology. Elsevier Health Sciences. pp. 180–. ISBN 978-0-323-01340-6. Retrieved 22 September 2010. 
  5. ^ "Burning & Stinging Nettles". University of California. Retrieved September 21, 2013. 
  6. ^ a b Chen Jiarui, Ib Friis, C. Melanie Wilmot-Dear. "Flora of China online". efloras, Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA. 
  7. ^ "Plant For a Future database". 
  8. ^ "Species: Urtica dioica". United States Forest Service. Retrieved September 21, 2013. 
  9. ^ "Stinging Nettle". Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, Ohio State University. Retrieved September 21, 2013. 
  10. ^ Heiko Bellmann: Der Neue Kosmos Schmetterlingsführer, Schmetterlinge, Raupen und Futterpflanzen, pg. 170, Frankh-Kosmos Verlags-GmbH & Co, Stuttgart 2003, ISBN 3-440-09330-1
  11. ^ Carey, Jennifer H. (1995). "Urtica dioica". Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. 
  12. ^ Teucher, T; Obertreis, B; Ruttkowski, T; Schmitz, H (1996). "Cytokine secretion in whole blood of healthy subjects following oral administration of Urtica dioica L. Plant extract". Arzneimittel-Forschung 46 (9): 906–10. PMID 8967906. 
  13. ^ Obertreis, B; Ruttkowski, T; Teucher, T; Behnke, B; Schmitz, H (1996). "Ex-vivo in-vitro inhibition of lipopolysaccharide stimulated tumor necrosis factor-alpha and interleukin-1 beta secretion in human whole blood by extractum urticae dioicae foliorum". Arzneimittel-Forschung 46 (4): 389–94. PMID 8740085. 
  14. ^ Riehemann, K; Behnke, B; Schulze-Osthoff, K (1999). "Plant extracts from stinging nettle (Urtica dioica), an antirheumatic remedy, inhibit the proinflammatory transcription factor NF-kappaB". FEBS letters 442 (1): 89–94. doi:10.1016/S0014-5793(98)01622-6. PMID 9923611. 
  15. ^ Vogl S, Picker P, Mihaly-Bison J, Fakhrudin N, Atanasov AG, Heiss EH, Wawrosch C, Reznicek G, Dirsch VM, Saukel J, Kopp B. Ethnopharmacological in vitro studies on Austria's folk medicine - An unexplored lore in vitro anti-inflammatory activities of 71 Austrian traditional herbal drugs. J Ethnopharmacol.2013 Jun13. doi:pii: S0378-8741(13)00410-8. 10.1016/j.jep.2013.06.007. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID 23770053. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23770053
  16. ^ Balch, Phyllis A., CNC, Balch, James F., M.D., Prescription for Nutritional Healing, Avery Press, p. 104 (2000) ISBN 1-58333-077-1
  17. ^ Safarinejad, MR (2005). "Urtica dioica for treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia: A prospective, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study". Journal of herbal pharmacotherapy 5 (4): 1–11. doi:10.1080/J157v05n04_01. PMID 16635963. 
  18. ^ Lopatkin N, Sivkov A, Walther C, Schlafke S, Medvedev A, Avdeichuk J, Golubev G, Melnik K, Elenberger N, Engelmann U. (2005). "Long-term efficacy and safety of a combination of sabal and urtica extract for lower urinary tract symptoms—a placebo-controlled, double-blind, multicenter trial". World journal of urology 23 (2): 139–46. doi:10.1007/s00345-005-0501-9. PMID 15928959. 
  19. ^ Schöttner M, Gansser D, Spiteller G. (1997). "Interaction of lignans with human sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG)". Zeitschrift fur Naturforschung. C, Journal of biosciences 52 (11–12): 834–43. PMID 9463941. 
  20. ^ Westfall R.E. (2003). "Galactagogue herbs: a qualitative study and review". Canadian Journal of Midwifery Research and Practice 2 (2): 22–27. 
  21. ^ "Stinging Nettles". BBC. Retrieved September 21, 2013. 
  22. ^ Kianbakht S. et al (2013). "Improved glycemic control in patients with advanced type 2 diabetes mellitus taking Urtica dioica leaf extract: a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial". Clinical Laboratory 59 (9-10): 1071–6. PMID 24273930. 
  23. ^ a b Gregory L. Tilford, Edible and Medicinal Plants of the West, ISBN 0-87842-359-1
  24. ^ Hughes, R. Elwyn; Ellery, Peter; Harry, Tim; Jenkins, Vivian; Jones, Eleri (1980). "The dietary potential of the common nettle". Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture 31 (12): 1279–86. doi:10.1002/jsfa.2740311210. PMID 6259444. 
  25. ^ 1069 Recetas de Cocina (No 423). Wattpad.com (2010-05-12). Retrieved on 2012-07-03.
  26. ^ "Lynher Dairies Nettles & Garlic". Lynherdairies.co.uk. Retrieved 2010-07-05. 
  27. ^ "Gouda Cheese with Stinging Nettles: Cooking Terms". RecipeTips.com. Retrieved 2010-07-05. 
  28. ^ http://www.hermesnews.org/rubriche/8192---.asp Nettles Pie (in Albanian)
  29. ^ http://urban.al/index.php/kuzhine/item/1084-byrek-me-hithra Recipe: Nettles Pie (in Albanian)
  30. ^ BBC Dorset report on world nettle eating championships. Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved on 2012-07-03.
  31. ^ Langley, William. (2009-06-14) Daily Telegraph item about world nettle eating championships. Telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved on 2012-07-03.
  32. ^ "Two more nettle beer recipes including a stronger nettle beer". Selfsufficientish.com. Retrieved 2010-07-05. 
  33. ^ a b "Urtica dioica (Stinging Nettles)". University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. Retrieved September 22, 2013. 
  34. ^ "The Project Gutenberg eBook of The Æsop For Children, by Æsop". Gutenberg.org. 2006-12-02. Retrieved 2010-07-05. 
  35. ^ "Grasping the nettle: an empirical enquiry". 2010-09-05. Retrieved 2010-09-06. 
  36. ^ "Student shows off nettle knickers". BBC News. 2004-07-01. Retrieved May 24, 2010. 
  37. ^ Neustatter, Angela (27 February 2008). "Rash thinking". The Guardian.
  38. ^ Flintoff, John-Paul (20 August 2009). "Second skin: why wearing nettles is the next big thing". The Ecologist.
  39. ^ Piers Warren, 101 uses for Stinging Nettles (2006), p. 65, ISBN 0-9541899-9-X.
  40. ^ "Indicator Weeds and Soil Conditions at". Garden-helper.com. Retrieved 2010-07-05. 
  41. ^ "virtual-herb-walk". Herbalpractitioner.com. Retrieved 2010-07-05. 
  42. ^ "h2g2 – Stinging Nettles". BBC DNA. Retrieved 2010-07-05. 
  43. ^ Pears, Pauline, et al. HDRA Encyclopedia Of Organic Gardening, p. 207, Dorling Kindersley Ltd, London, 2005.
  44. ^ "Compost Teas vs Other Teas and Extracts". Ciwmb.ca.gov. Retrieved 2010-07-05. 
  45. ^ "'Stinging Nettle: Companion Plant and Medicinal Herb'". bcliving.ca. Retrieved 2012-06-16. 
  46. ^ a b Wood Powell Anderson (1999). Perennial weeds: characteristics and identification of selected herbaceous species. Wiley-Blackwell. pp. 25–. ISBN 978-0-8138-2520-5. Retrieved 17 October 2010. 

References[edit]

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Notes

Comments

Dmitry Geltman (pers. comm.) notes that U. dioica subsp. sondenii (Simmons) A. Löve & D. Löve (U. dioica var. sondenii Simmons; U. sondenii (Simmons) Avrorin ex Geltman) occurs in the mountainous regions of Xinjiang (Altay Shan, etc.).
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Names and Taxonomy

Taxonomy

Common Names

stinging nettle
American stinging nettle
European stinging nettle
hoary nettle

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Synonyms

Urtica gracilis Ait. [13,24,25]
Urtica holosericea Nutt. [53]
Urtica procera Muhl. [13,54]
  • 25. Kearney, Thomas H.; Peebles, Robert H.; Howell, John Thomas; McClintock, Elizabeth. 1960. Arizona flora. 2d ed. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. 1085 p. [6563]
  • 24. Hulten, Eric. 1968. Flora of Alaska and neighboring territories. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press. 1008 p. [13403]
  • 53. Munz, Philip A. 1974. A flora of southern California. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. 1086 p. [4924]
  • 54. Seymour, Frank Conkling. 1982. The flora of New England. 2d ed. Phytologia Memoirs 5. Plainfield, NJ: Harold N. Moldenke and Alma L. Moldenke. 611 p. [7604]
  • 13. Fernald, Merritt Lyndon. 1950. Gray's manual of botany. [Corrections supplied by R. C. Rollins]. Portland, OR: Dioscorides Press. 1632 p. (Dudley, Theodore R., gen. ed.; Biosystematics, Floristic & Phylogeny Series; vol. 2) [14935]

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The currently accepted scientific name for stinging nettle is Urtica
dioica L. (Urticaceae) [15,17,21,28,49]. Urtica dioica is a polymorphic
complex in North America with a confusing taxonomic history; many
varieties and subspecies have been described including an introduced
subspecies from Europe. Although formerly separated into four species
[13], most recent authors agree that the North American plants cannot be
distinguished at the species level from each other and from European
plants. The following three subspecies are currently recognized
[3,17,21,28,51]:

U. d. ssp. dioica (European stinging nettle)
U. d. ssp. gracilis (Ait.) Selander (American stinging nettle)
U. d. ssp. holosericea (Nutt.) Thorne (hoary nettle)
  • 49. Welsh, Stanley L.; Atwood, N. Duane; Goodrich, Sherel; Higgins, Larry C., eds. 1987. A Utah flora. The Great Basin Naturalist Memoir No. 9. Provo, UT: Brigham Young University. 894 p. [2944]
  • 51. Woodland, Dennis W. 1982. Biosystematics of the perennial North American taxa of Urtica. II. Taxonomy. Systematic Botany. 7(3): 282-290. [24186]
  • 3. Boufford, David E. 1992. Urticaceae: Nettle family. In: A new flora for Arizona in preparation. In: Journal of the Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science. 26(1): 42-45. [21488]
  • 15. Gleason, Henry A.; Cronquist, Arthur. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. 2nd ed. New York: New York Botanical Garden. 910 p. [20329]
  • 17. Great Plains Flora Association. 1986. Flora of the Great Plains. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas. 1392 p. [1603]
  • 21. Hickman, James C., ed. 1993. The Jepson manual: Higher plants of California. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. 1400 p. [21992]
  • 28. Larson, Gary E. 1993. Aquatic and wetland vascular plants of the Northern Great Plains. Gen. Tech. Rep. RM-238. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. 681 p. [22534]
  • 13. Fernald, Merritt Lyndon. 1950. Gray's manual of botany. [Corrections supplied by R. C. Rollins]. Portland, OR: Dioscorides Press. 1632 p. (Dudley, Theodore R., gen. ed.; Biosystematics, Floristic & Phylogeny Series; vol. 2) [14935]

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