|Common Name:||Stinging nettle (Tall nettle, Slender nettle)|
|Scientific Name:||Urtica dioica|
|Native Range:||Northern Europe and
|Invasive Range:||Throughout the
|Introduction:||Brought by settlers as a medicinal plant. The stinging nettle reproduces both by seed and rhizome, it can spread up to 2.5 m (8 ft.) per year.|
|Description:||·Leaves: Opposite, deeply toothed, simple, egg-shaped or lanceolate, occasionally with heart-shaped bases, tip points sharply. 5-15 cm (2-6 in) long. Stinging hairs and shorter bristled hairs found on underside.
·Stem: Erect. Green. 4 sides, ridged at angles. Covered in stinging hairs. Bristled hairs may or may not be present. Can grow up to 2 m (6 ft.) tall.
·Flowers: Present from May to October. Small, greenish-yellow. Densely clustered from leaf axils. Male and female clusters can be found on same plant.·Fruit: White or brown oval shaped achene, 1-1.5 mm long. Single seed enclosed within.
|Threats:||The stinging nettle is considered a weed. It produces a large amount of seed and is difficult to eradicate.|
|Fun Facts:||The spines of the stinging nettle contain histamine and formic acid. As a result, they normally cause pain upon contact with human flesh. But, when they touch tissue that is already in pain, these chemicals act as a counterirritant, reducing discomfort. The juice of the stinging nettle is used to treat insect bites and, ironically, nettle stings.|