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