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