Stinging Nettles

Urtica dioica

Stinging Nettles Stinging nettles are native to North America, with some varieties that have been introduced (USDA, 2014). It is common in riparian areas and areas that have good moisture.

Stinging nettles flowers are small, yellow-green and inconspicuous. The leaves are arrow shaped with small non-stinging hairs. The leaves are paired and alternate on the stem. The stem has spines that act as a defense mechanism and can cause a painful rash upon contact. Nettles spread both through rhizomes and stolons.

Stinging Nettles Stinging nettles have a large variety of herbal and medicinal uses. The fibers of the plant are also consider a good candidate for textile production as they are strong and can grow well without the application of pesticides.

USDA, NRCS. 2014. The PLANTS Database (, 18 March 2014). National Plant Data Team, Greensboro, NC 27401-4901 USA.

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