Canadian woodnettle

(Laportea canadensis)

               
Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

not yet assessed

Canadian woodnettle

NatureServe

N5 - Secure

SNR - Unranked

Minnesota

not listed

Wetland
Indicator
Status

Great Plains

FAC - Facultative

Midwest

FACW - Facultative wetland

Northcentral & Northeast

FACW - Facultative wetland

Nativity

Native

Occurrence

Common

Habitat

Moderate moisture. Woods, forests.

Flowering

July to August

     
Flower Color

Green

     
Height

16 to 40

     

Identification

This is a 16 to 40 tall, erect, annual or perennial forb that rises from a rhizome and tuberous roots. It often forms dense colonies.

The stems are erect, light green or medium green, zigzagged, and unbranched. They are sparsely or densely covered with stinging hairs and non-glandular, non-stinging hairs, but they have no glandular hairs.

The leaves are alternate, broadly egg-shaped, 3 to 6 long, and 1 to 4 wide. They are on leaf stalks that are up to 4 long and covered with stinging and non-stinging hairs. They taper to a point at the tip with concave sides along the tip. They are rounded, squared off, or broadly wedge-shaped at the base, but do not have ear-like lobes at the base. The margins have sharp, forward-pointing teeth. The upper surface is medium to dark green, the lower surface is a little lighter in color. Young leaves appear wrinkled and are densely covered with both stinging and non-stinging hairs. As they age they become less wrinkled and less hairy.

Both male and female flowers are found on the same plant. The female inflorescences are elongated, loose, branched clusters at the end of the stem and rising from the upper leaf axils. They are widely spreading and up to 4 long, usually much longer than the subtending leaf stalks. The male inflorescences are elongated, branched clusters rising from the middle leaf axils. They spread outward from the stem and are seldom longer than the subtending leaf stalks.

The male flowers are 1 32 to 1 16 across, with 5 narrow, greenish-white to white sepals, no petals, and 5 stamens. The female flowers are 1 32 to 1 16 across, with 2 large, green, appressed, inner sepals, 2 much smaller, green, appressed, outer sepals, no petals, and a long, feathery, D-shaped style.

The fruit is an egg-shaped achene, 1 16 to 3 32 in diameter.

 
Similar
Species

Stinging nettle (Urtica dioica ssp. gracilis) leaves are opposite, narrower, and drooping.

Small-spike false nettle (Boehmeria cylindrica) has no stinging hairs. The leaves are opposite.


Distribution Distribution Map   Sources: 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 28.

Comments

 


Taxonomy

Family:

Urticaceae (nettle)

 
Synonyms

Fleurya canadensis

Laportea divaricata

Laportea pustulata

Urtica canadensis

Urtica divaricata

Urtica pustulata

Urticastrum divaricatum

 
Common
Names

Canada lettuce

Canada woodnettle

Canadian wood-nettle

Canadian woodnettle

wood nettle

wood-nettle


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

achene

A dry, one-chambered, single-seeded fruit, formed from a single carpel, with the seed attached to the membranous outer layer (wall) only by the seed stalk; the wall, formed entirely from the wall of the superior ovary, does not split open at maturity, but relies on decay or predation to release the contents.

 

axil

The upper angle where the leaf stalk meets the stem.

 

glandular hairs

Hairs spread over aerial vegetation that secrete essential oils. The oils act to protect against herbivores and pathogens or, when on a flower part, attract pollinators. The hairs have a sticky or oily feel.

 

rhizome

A horizontal, usually underground stem. It serves as a reproductive structure, producing roots below and shoots above at the nodes.

 

sepal

An outer floral leaf, usually green but sometimes colored, at the base of a flower.

       

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Habitat

  Canadian woodnettle    
       

Colony

  Canadian woodnettle    
       

Plant

  Canadian woodnettle   Canadian woodnettle
       
  Canadian woodnettle   Canadian woodnettle
       

Inflorescence

  Canadian woodnettle   Canadian woodnettle
       

Male Flowers

  Canadian woodnettle    
       

Female Flowers

  Canadian woodnettle   Canadian woodnettle
       
  Canadian woodnettle   Canadian woodnettle
       
       

Leaves

  Canadian woodnettle   Canadian woodnettle
       
  Canadian woodnettle    
       

Stem

  Canadian woodnettle    
       
       

 

Camera

     

Slideshows

   
  Wood Nettle (Laportea canadensis)
Bill Keim
 
  Wood Nettle (Laportea canadensis)  

 

slideshow

     

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Other Videos

 
  Wild Edibles series- Wood Nettle 1.wmv
White Wolf Von Atzingen
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Jun 11, 2010

More in my wild edibles series. I was asked by many about the wood nettle and so decided to make a short edibility clip on it. Enjoy!

Use caution when trying new foods. Some people are allergic. Be aware, these videos are for informational purposes only. Ways Of The Wild Institute claims no responsibility for the misuse of this information.

 
     

 

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