Stinging nettle – Urtica dioica

Stinging nettle

Urtica dioica L.
Urticaceae (Nettle family)

Life cycle

Erect, rhizomatous perennial.


Opposite, egg- to lance-shaped with a rounded base and pointed tip. Petiolated leaves have coarsely toothed margins, smooth surfaces to a few hairs beneath and long, stinging hairs on the lower surface. Contact with stinging hairs can cause a skin irritation.


Four-angled, herbaceous stems are usually erect and unbranched, up to 6 feet tall and covered with stinging hairs. Contact with stinging hairs can cause a skin irritation.

Flowers and fruit

Inconspicuous, green to yellow flowers are formed in clusters in the upper leaf axils. The seed is enclosed in a single-seeded, tan, egg-shaped fruit.


Seeds and rhizomes that form extensive colonies.

Stinging nettle foliage & flowers
Hair on stem of stinging nettle
Stinging nettle leaf
Stinging nettle seedling
Stinging nettle stem

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