The leaves have a strongly serrated margin, a cordate base, and an acuminate tip with a terminal leaf tooth longer than adjacent laterals., New York State - Department of Environmental Conservation - Stinging Nettle, WebMD - Stinging Nettle: Uses, Side Effects, Interactions, Dosage, and Warning. Realize, you must use great care when raising and preparing it for use. Tea made from the leaves has been used to treat hay fever, diabetes, gout, and arthritis, and fresh stinging leaves are sometimes applied to arthritic joints in a process known as urtification, which is said to stimulate blood flow. Opposed to this, the production of manure, on the basis of cold water – takes approximately 14 days for production. Burning Nettle vs. Stinging Nettle. It bears small, greenish or brownish, numerous flower… U. dioica is known by several other common names, including "Common Nettle", "Bigsting Nettle", "Tall Nettle", and... All true nettles are a part of the Nettle Family Urticaceae. It also provides great perennial habitat for a wide range of … Recognizing the plant and teaching children how to distinguish it can help avoid stinging nettle rash. Hunting dogs running through stinging nettle thickets have been poisoned, sometimes lethally, by the massive accumulation of stings. The plant is common in herbal medicine, and young leaves can be cooked and eaten as a nutritious potherb. The plants can be dioecious (an individual produces only female or male flowers) or monoecious (an individual bears both male and female flowers), depending on the subspecies. Preserving Nettle Plants. Similarly, the ovary within the female flower is haploid (1n). Urtica dioica. The leaves have distinctly serrated edges, with each leaf margin looking like a row of pointed teeth. As well as being delicious, nettle tea is reputed to help combat several ailments, … It is used to make medicine. They need to stay in a closed container. Given these conditions, nettles can grow to a height of a metre or more. Inflammation is your body’s way of healing itself and fighting infections. It has been grown, foraged, and harvested for thousands of years. It has widely spreading rhizomes and stolons, which are bright yellow, as are the roots. Cover the barrel with a lid because this liquid will have a strong smell! Like most weeds Stinging Nettle (Urtica urens) can be a pain for gardeners. Burning nettle, also known as small nettle or annual nettle, generally reaches heights of 5 to 24 inches (12.5 to 61 cm). Overview Stinging nettle rash occurs when the skin comes into contact with stinging nettles. Stinging nettle can make a real nuisance of itself in vegetable gardens, but it is also one of Finland’s most diverse and useful plants. Navigate parenthood with the help of the Raising Curious Learners podcast. The pretty small tortoiseshell is a familiar garden visitor that can be seen feeding on flowers all year-round during warm spells.…, It doesn’t matter what size your space is, there’s always room for wildflowers! Urtica dioica is a dioecious, herbaceous, perennial plant, 1 to 2 m (3 to 7 ft) tall in the summer and dying down to the ground in winter. The flowers are greenish; they are very small but numerous. The best way to prevent a stinging nettle rash is to avoid stinging nettles touching the skin. Like most edible plants, the best way to eat nettle is to consume it shortly after being harvested. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. Description: Although they can reach greater heights, stinging nettles usually grow to about three to four feet tall. If you’re a gardener who enjoys raising non-traditional herbs in your garden, stinging nettle could still be your herb of choice. Pollinators and other beneficial insects – Stinging nettle flowers are wind-pollinated, not insect-pollinated. The flowers are small, green and catkin-like with no petals. Pistillate flower has four tepals in different-sized pairs, are greyish green and hairy. The dead nettles do not sting, both white dead nettles and red dead nettles are quite common flowers. The plant is common in herbal medicine, and young leaves can be cooked and eaten as a nutritious potherb. Although contact causes intense stinging and itching, symptoms usually last less than an hour; some people may have skin discoloration for several days. Corrections? Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). Flowers: Stinging nettle is a dioecious (staminate and pistillate flowers on different plants) plant with very small flowers. They can be found in woodlands, hedgerows, gardens and disturbed ground. Overview Information White dead nettle flower is a plant that looks like stinging nettle but doesn't cause stinging when touched. The nettle has sharp hairs on its leaves. It is native to Europe. There are many variations of nettle tea recipes that feature a number of other herbs like raspberry leaf, echinacea or goldenseal. Specimen has leaf curl and may have been poisoned or short of H2O ID: 2C2X9RM (RF) Common or Stinging Nettle (urtica dioica), close up of a cluster of the plants in flower. The dried plant can be used as livestock feed, and heating or cooking the fresh leaves renders them safe for consumption. Stinging nettle, or Urtica dioica, is a common plant that grows in the United States, Canada, and Europe. Botanical Description. Its preference for damp, fertile and disturbed ground makes it a good coloniser of places enriched by human activities, such as agriculture and development. Upper drooping female flowers of common Stinging Nettle / Urtica dioica in sunshine. This means in detail, that a brew with the usage of boiling water has to be prepared within 2 minutes and should be ready for application after additional 24 hours. Stinging Nettle Liquid Fertilizer. - they are virtually indistinguishable from leaves. Stinging nettle is distributed nearly worldwide but is especially common in Europe, North America, North Africa, and parts of Asia. Stinging nettle is an herbaceous plant and often grows to about 2 metres (6.5 feet) in height. She has her M.S.... Get exclusive access to content from our 1768 First Edition with your subscription. When producing brew and manure from stinging nettles, the time factor is the decisive variable. Stinging nettle (Urtica dioica, also known as common nettle or nettle leaf) is an herbaceous perennial plant. Weigh them down with a stone and fill it up with water. They tolerate a wide variety of soil conditions, though they seem to like moisture and soils rich in nitrate and phosphate. Stinging nettle is used for diabetes and osteoarthritis. Registered charity number 207238. Stinging nettle, (Urtica dioica), also called common nettle, weedy perennial plant of the nettle family , known for its stinging leaves. The stinging nettle is a flowering plant that, like all plants, exhibits alteration of generations. S oaking, cooking, … The Wildlife Trusts is a movement made up of 46 Wildlife Trusts: independent charities with a shared mission. That said, I think they have a more subtle, lighter flavor, especially when used raw. The young shoots are tasty and extremely healthy in soups, stews and pancakes. Early spring is the best time to harvest — I try to pick more early in the season and store for later use. Stinging or common nettles (Urtica dioica) are widespread across the U.K. The stinging nettle is a familiar and common plant, often firmly rooted in our memories after our first, hands-on experience - a prickling irritation that's not forgotten easily! Scientific Name. The stinging nettle is a plant found practically all over the world. Melissa Petruzzello is Assistant Editor of Plant and Environmental Science and covers a range of content from plants, algae, and fungi, to renewable energy and environmental engineering. It has a single carpel and the stigma is brush-like. The flowers grow along stems that shoot out fr… If you see a group of such plants, look for those noxious bristly hairs along the stems of the plants and on the undersides of their leaves. It usually pops up each spring, and easily spreads after flowering and going to seed. They also bear brownish-green tassle-like flowers from May to September, quite different from the more attractive hooded flowers … You can also turn nettles into a liquid fertilizer by filling a barrel with the leaves and branches. The fruits are small achenes, and the plants produce copious amounts of seeds. The plant is considered an herbaceous perennial, meaning that it has herbal properties and grows back in the same areas year after year. If you do get stung try rubbing the old favorite dock leaves on the inflamed area, it works but only really psycologically, much better and much more effective is to use the juice from Greater or Ribwort Plantain. A very common plant, the stinging nettle can be found growing in gardens, hedgerows, fields, woodlands and many other habitats. Omissions? Family. The rootstock is used as a diuretic and as an herbal treatment for benign prostatic hyperplasia (prostate enlargement) and other urinary disorders. They also often grow in masses, forming a monoculture. Definitely not a plant to step on with bare feet! Staminate flower is greyish yellow: four tepals (like sepals). Stinging nettle flowers. … It primarily grows in damp, fertile soil. Additionally, stinging nettle has been used as a source of bast fibres for textiles and is sometimes used in cosmetics. May Reduce Inflammation. Fresh nettle leaves can be stored in the refrigerator for 2-5 days. An upright plant with dull green, serrated leaves, covered with stinging hairs. They are also high in protein and when cooked are very mild, tasting similar to spinach but slightly rougher. The flowers occur in the axils of leaf-like bracts. Updates? Flowering time: July–September. You can consume the leaves fresh, but if you want to preserve the nettle plants to be consumed or used later, there are a few things that you can try. The root and above ground parts are used as medicine. This defense mechanism is an effective deterrent against most large herbivores, though the plant is important food for several butterfly species and aphids. Stinging nettle leaves and flowers can be dried, and the dried leaves can be steeped and made into a tea. Stinging Nettles are rich in vitamin A, potassium, magnesium, and calcium. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. The pollen produced by the male flowers is haploid (1n) meaning that it contains one set of chromosomes. Cooking stinging nettle gets rid of the stinging hairs. Our commitment to Equality, Diversity & Inclusion (EDI), Different types of protected wildlife sites. They inject a mix of acetylcholine, formic acid, histamine, and serotonin, causing an itchy, burning rash in humans and other animals that may last up to 12 hours. Focusing on th… Documented accounts of its use date as far back as 1200 BC, and its uses are widespread. The plant can spread vegetatively with its yellow creeping rhizomes and often forms dense colonies. Stinging nettles are plants that are commonly found … Medicinal Uses . In some parts of the US, stinging nettle is considered an invasive weed due to its ability to self-seed and spread through its root mass. Set aside an area of lawn, part of a border, or even a…, Set up a ‘nectar café’ by planting flowers for pollinating insects like bees and butterflies, The Wildlife Trusts: Protecting Wildlife for the Future. The toothed leaves are borne oppositely along the stem, and both the stems and leaves are covered with numerous stinging and non-stinging trichomes (plant hairs). Nevertheless, stinging nettle is a host plant for a number of butterfly and moth species. Stinging nettle is distributed nearly worldwide but is especially common in Europe, North America, North Africa, and parts of Asia. Pick only the tenderest, youngest leaves. Topical creams have also been developed for joint pain and various skin ailments, including eczema and dandruff. The soft, green leaves are 3 to 15 cm (1 to 6 in) long and are borne oppositely on an erect, wiry, green stem. Stinging nettle, (Urtica dioica), also called common nettle, weedy perennial plant of the nettle family (Urticaceae), known for its stinging leaves. Inflorescence is catkin-like, 48 cm (1.63.2\") long. Tender handed stroke a nettle, It’ll sting you for your pains, Grasp it like a man of mettle, And it soft as silk remains’. Nettle leaf, also called Urtica dioica, has been used in traditional medicine for many centuries. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. The leaves and stems of the plant are covered with brittle, hollow, hair-like structures. Stinging nettle may seem like a risky herb to grow, but you can’t overlook its benefits. Urticaceae. The stinging trichomes of the leaves and stems have bulbous tips that break off when brushed against, revealing needlelike tubes that pierce the skin. Reviving nettle tea. Status. Unlike deadnettles (Lamium), stinging nettles (Urtica) have stinging hairs that make them quickly apparent to the gardener when weeding. The plant and its flowers and fruits are covered in fierce stinging hairs that break off in the skin, releasing various irritant compounds. From the nutrition point of view, they pack a wallop as well. The tiny green or white flowers are borne in dense whorled clusters in the leaf axils and stem tips and are wind-pollinated. The flowers have four stamens and yellow anthers. Nettle is native to Europe but now grows in damp fertile soils virtually throughout the world. Stinging nettle has a long history of use as a medicinal herb and is still used in folk medicine for a wide array of disorders, though there is limited clinical evidence supporting its efficacy. After fermenting it for 5-6 weeks the nettle … Stinging nettle plants are often compared to spinach because they can be used in the same ways that you would normally use spinach. Where lies the difference between brew and manure? Stinging Nettle Recipes. Overview Information Stinging nettle is a plant. Stinging Nettle is a surprisingly helpful plant in food and medicine despite its stinging hairs, as seen below.