Stinging nettle may seem like a risky herb to grow, but you can’t overlook its benefits. They can be found in woodlands, hedgerows, gardens and disturbed ground. The plant is considered an herbaceous perennial, meaning that it has herbal properties and grows back in the same areas year after year. You can also turn nettles into a liquid fertilizer by filling a barrel with the leaves and branches. Topical creams have also been developed for joint pain and various skin ailments, including eczema and dandruff. The leaves have distinctly serrated edges, with each leaf margin looking like a row of pointed teeth. Stinging nettle, (Urtica dioica), also called common nettle, weedy perennial plant of the nettle family (Urticaceae), known for its stinging leaves. Cooking stinging nettle gets rid of the stinging hairs. The stinging nettle is a plant found practically all over the world. Stinging nettle (Urtica dioica, also known as common nettle or nettle leaf) is an herbaceous perennial plant. Recognizing the plant and teaching children how to distinguish it can help avoid stinging nettle rash. The nettle has sharp hairs on its leaves. 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’. Stinging nettles are plants that are commonly found … 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). Stinging nettle is distributed nearly worldwide but is especially common in Europe, North America, North Africa, and parts of Asia. Overview Stinging nettle rash occurs when the skin comes into contact with stinging nettles. The flowers occur in the axils of leaf-like bracts. 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. 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. - they are virtually indistinguishable from leaves. Pollinators and other beneficial insects – Stinging nettle flowers are wind-pollinated, not insect-pollinated. Nettle is native to Europe but now grows in damp fertile soils virtually throughout the world. Registered charity number 207238. Urtica dioica. Corrections? Burning Nettle vs. Stinging Nettle. After fermenting it for 5-6 weeks the nettle … 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. 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. The tiny green or white flowers are borne in dense whorled clusters in the leaf axils and stem tips and are wind-pollinated. Inflammation is your body’s way of healing itself and fighting infections. There are many variations of nettle tea recipes that feature a number of other herbs like raspberry leaf, echinacea or goldenseal. From the nutrition point of view, they pack a wallop as well. Omissions? Stinging nettle is distributed nearly worldwide but is especially common in Europe, North America, North Africa, and parts of Asia. Definitely not a plant to step on with bare feet! The flowers are greenish; they are very small but numerous. Stinging nettle, (Urtica dioica), also called common nettle, weedy perennial plant of the nettle family , known for its stinging leaves. Like most weeds Stinging Nettle (Urtica urens) can be a pain for gardeners. Early spring is the best time to harvest — I try to pick more early in the season and store for later use. Stinging Nettle Recipes. The flowers are small, green and catkin-like with no petals. Stinging Nettles are rich in vitamin A, potassium, magnesium, and calcium. 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. Cover the barrel with a lid because this liquid will have a strong smell! They are also high in protein and when cooked are very mild, tasting similar to spinach but slightly rougher. When producing brew and manure from stinging nettles, the time factor is the decisive variable. Burning nettle, also known as small nettle or annual nettle, generally reaches heights of 5 to 24 inches (12.5 to 61 cm). 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. Status. She has her M.S.... Get exclusive access to content from our 1768 First Edition with your subscription. Stinging nettle is used for diabetes and osteoarthritis. 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! Preserving Nettle Plants. This defense mechanism is an effective deterrent against most large herbivores, though the plant is important food for several butterfly species and aphids. Hunting dogs running through stinging nettle thickets have been poisoned, sometimes lethally, by the massive accumulation of stings. Urticaceae. Nettle leaf, also called Urtica dioica, has been used in traditional medicine for many centuries. It also provides great perennial habitat for a wide range of … https://www.britannica.com/plant/stinging-nettle, New York State - Department of Environmental Conservation - Stinging Nettle, WebMD - Stinging Nettle: Uses, Side Effects, Interactions, Dosage, and Warning. It has been grown, foraged, and harvested for thousands of years. Stinging Nettle Liquid Fertilizer. Pistillate flower has four tepals in different-sized pairs, are greyish green and hairy. The pollen produced by the male flowers is haploid (1n) meaning that it contains one set of chromosomes. Upper drooping female flowers of common Stinging Nettle / Urtica dioica in sunshine. Flowering time: July–September. Stinging nettle plants are often compared to spinach because they can be used in the same ways that you would normally use spinach. The leaves and stems of the plant are covered with brittle, hollow, hair-like structures. Stinging Nettle is a surprisingly helpful plant in food and medicine despite its stinging hairs, as seen below. Focusing on th… They tolerate a wide variety of soil conditions, though they seem to like moisture and soils rich in nitrate and phosphate. 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. The soft, green leaves are 3 to 15 cm (1 to 6 in) long and are borne oppositely on an erect, wiry, green stem. Nevertheless, stinging nettle is a host plant for a number of butterfly and moth species. It primarily grows in damp, fertile soil. Fresh nettle leaves can be stored in the refrigerator for 2-5 days. Documented accounts of its use date as far back as 1200 BC, and its uses are widespread. The young shoots are tasty and extremely healthy in soups, stews and pancakes. Realize, you must use great care when raising and preparing it for use. Staminate flower is greyish yellow: four tepals (like sepals). Flowers: Stinging nettle is a dioecious (staminate and pistillate flowers on different plants) plant with very small flowers. 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. Unlike deadnettles (Lamium), stinging nettles (Urtica) have stinging hairs that make them quickly apparent to the gardener when weeding. Stinging nettle leaves and flowers can be dried, and the dried leaves can be steeped and made into a tea. Stinging nettle flowers. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. Overview Information White dead nettle flower is a plant that looks like stinging nettle but doesn't cause stinging when touched. 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. They need to stay in a closed container. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. 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. Overview Information Stinging nettle is a plant. 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. 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. Family. It is native to Europe. 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. They also often grow in masses, forming a monoculture. Our commitment to Equality, Diversity & Inclusion (EDI), Different types of protected wildlife sites. Stinging nettle, or Urtica dioica, is a common plant that grows in the United States, Canada, and Europe. Stinging or common nettles (Urtica dioica) are widespread across the U.K. If you’re a gardener who enjoys raising non-traditional herbs in your garden, stinging nettle could still be your herb of choice. Description: Although they can reach greater heights, stinging nettles usually grow to about three to four feet tall. 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. Medicinal Uses . An upright plant with dull green, serrated leaves, covered with stinging hairs. S oaking, cooking, … … As well as being delicious, nettle tea is reputed to help combat several ailments, … 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. Although contact causes intense stinging and itching, symptoms usually last less than an hour; some people may have skin discoloration for several days. The Wildlife Trusts is a movement made up of 46 Wildlife Trusts: independent charities with a shared mission. Navigate parenthood with the help of the Raising Curious Learners podcast. Where lies the difference between brew and manure? That said, I think they have a more subtle, lighter flavor, especially when used raw. The plant can spread vegetatively with its yellow creeping rhizomes and often forms dense colonies. Scientific Name. Stinging nettle is an herbaceous plant and often grows to about 2 metres (6.5 feet) in height. Additionally, stinging nettle has been used as a source of bast fibres for textiles and is sometimes used in cosmetics. Similarly, the ovary within the female flower is haploid (1n). The plant is common in herbal medicine, and young leaves can be cooked and eaten as a nutritious potherb. 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. 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! The plant and its flowers and fruits are covered in fierce stinging hairs that break off in the skin, releasing various irritant compounds. It is used to make medicine. Opposed to this, the production of manure, on the basis of cold water – takes approximately 14 days for production. Pick only the tenderest, youngest leaves. Inflorescence is catkin-like, 48 cm (1.63.2\") long. Updates? A very common plant, the stinging nettle can be found growing in gardens, hedgerows, fields, woodlands and many other habitats. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. The dead nettles do not sting, both white dead nettles and red dead nettles are quite common flowers. The dried plant can be used as livestock feed, and heating or cooking the fresh leaves renders them safe for consumption. 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. It usually pops up each spring, and easily spreads after flowering and going to seed. Weigh them down with a stone and fill it up with water. The leaves have a strongly serrated margin, a cordate base, and an acuminate tip with a terminal leaf tooth longer than adjacent laterals. The plant is common in herbal medicine, and young leaves can be cooked and eaten as a nutritious potherb. May Reduce Inflammation. The rootstock is used as a diuretic and as an herbal treatment for benign prostatic hyperplasia (prostate enlargement) and other urinary disorders. Given these conditions, nettles can grow to a height of a metre or more. They also bear brownish-green tassle-like flowers from May to September, quite different from the more attractive hooded flowers … It has a single carpel and the stigma is brush-like. The root and above ground parts are used as medicine. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). Its preference for damp, fertile and disturbed ground makes it a good coloniser of places enriched by human activities, such as agriculture and development. The flowers grow along stems that shoot out fr… It has widely spreading rhizomes and stolons, which are bright yellow, as are the roots. 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Our commitment to Equality, Diversity & Inclusion ( EDI ), different types of protected Wildlife sites and of...