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Common Nettle

Urtica dioica

Plant Data

Order:
Rosales
Family:
Urticaceae (Nettle)
Flowering Months:
JAN  FEB  MAR  APR  MAY  JUN  JUL  AUG  SEP  OCT  NOV  DEC
Flowers:
Male and female catkins on separate plants. Green catkins (sometimes tinged purple) hang down from the leaf axils. Yellow anthers.
Fruit:
The fruit of the Stinging Nettle is a small, dry, oval shaped seed.
Leaves:
The leaves can be either light or dark green. They grow in opposite pairs along the stems and have saw-tipped margins. The shape of their leaves are oval or narrowly egg-shaped and they have pointed tips. The bases of their leaves are rounded and stipules are present. The leaf stalks of the Stinging Nettle reach about 3 inches in length. The surfaces of their leaves are smooth on both sides. Their surfaces have small hairs on them which sting you if you touch them. The sting is caused by the formic acid which is present in the leaves. The formic acid is destroyed on cooking the leaves.
Maximum Size:
2 meters tall.
Foraging Notes:
The leaves can be cooked and eaten. They can be used for making Nettle tea and Nettle soup. High in vitamins A and C, and high in iron.
Never consume a wild plant unless you are 100% certain that it is safe to eat and you know that you have identified it correctly.
Aroma:
The leaves have a strong minty aroma which most people find appealing.
Other Names:
American Stinging Nettle, Big Sting Nettle, California Nettle, Common Perennial Nettle, Common Stinging Nettle, Devil's Apron, Devil's Leaf, European Nettle, Giant Nettle, Greater Nettle, Heg-beg, Hoky-poky, Jenny-nettle, Naughty Man's Plaything, Scaddie, Slender Nettle, Stinging Nettle, Sting-leaf, Tall Nettle, Tall Wild Nettle, Tanging Nettle, Wild Nettle.
Habitats:
Farmland, fens, gardens, hedgerows, roadsides, wasteland, woodland.