stinging nettle

(Urtica dioica ssp. gracilis)

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

not yet assessed

stinging nettle


N5? - Secure

SNA - Not applicable


not listed


Great Plains

FAC - Facultative


FACW - Facultative wetland

Northcentral & Northeast

FAC - Facultative






Wet to dry. Disturbed sites.


June to September

Flower Color



18 to 72



This is a 18 to 72 tall, erect, perennial forb that rises from a long rhizome. It often forms large colonies or dense patches.

The stems are erect, stout, unbranched, and 4-angled. They are hairless or have straight, stiff, sharp, appressed hairs, with a few stinging hairs.

The leaves are opposite, egg-shaped to lance-shaped, 2 to 8 long, and ¾ to 3 wide. The blades are rounded, rarely heart-shaped, at the base, and taper to a point at the tip. The upper surface is hairless or has minute, fine, short hairs, but rarely has a few stinging hairs. The lower surface has stinging hairs. The margins are coarsely toothed, the teeth averaging 1 16 to deep. The leaves droop downward slightly on ½ to 2½ long stalks that have stinging hairs. At the base of each leaf stalk are a pair of 3 16 to long, lance-shaped, leaf-like appendages (stipules).

The inflorescence is a branched, spreading, elongated cluster drooping downward on a stalk rising from the middle and upper leaf axils.

Individual flowers have either male or female reproductive parts, but not both (unisexual). Both male (with stamens) and female (with pistils) flowers are borne on all plants with the female flowers above the male flowers.

Male flowers are ascending, wide, with 4 green petal-like sepals and 4 white stamens. There are no petals. Female flowers are loose and bent backward, wide, with 2 inner, egg-shaped sepals enclosing the ovary, and 2 outer, linear, narrowly spoon-shaped, or lance-shaped, petal-like sepals. There are no petals.

The fruit is an egg-shaped achene.


Canadian woodnettle (Laportea canadensis) leaves are alternate and broader. The stem zigzags.

Small-spike false nettle (Boehmeria cylindrica) has no stinging hairs.

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


Stinging Hairs
The stinging hairs are hollow and act like syringes injecting histamine, acetylcholine, and a neurotoxin. They produce an intense burning and itching sensation.



Urticaceae (nettle)


Urtica californica

Urtica cardiophylla

Urtica dioica var. angustifolia

Urtica dioica var. californica

Urtica dioica var. gracilis

Urtica dioica var. lyallii

Urtica dioica var. procera

Urtica gracilis


Urtica lyallii

Urtica lyallii var. californica

Urtica major

Urtica procera

Urtica serra

Urtica strigosissima

Urtica viridis


California nettle

slender nettle

stinging nettle

tall nettle











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.



The upper angle where the leaf stalk meets the stem.



Long, straight, and narrow, with more or less parallel sides, like a blade of grass.



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



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



A small, leaf-like, scale-like, glandular, or rarely spiny appendage found at the base of a leaf stalk, usually occurring in pairs and usually dropping soon.


Visitor Photos

Share your photo of this plant.




  stinging nettle   stinging nettle


  stinging nettle   stinging nettle
  stinging nettle   stinging nettle





  Urtica dioica
Susanne Wiik
  Urtica dioica  

Brennesle, Stinging nettle

  Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica)
Bill Keim
  Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica)  




Visitor Videos

Share your video of this plant.


Other Videos

  stinging nettle - Urtica dioica
Timothy Ross

Published on Apr 27, 2012

'If you touch it you will never forget it"

  Poisonous Plants 1-2-1, Urtica dioica, the stinging nettle
John Robertson

Published on Apr 12, 2014

Some people don't consider the stinging nettle to be a poisonous plant but it is one of the cleverest around. For more information on Urtica dioca please visit

  Common stinging nettle (Urtica Dioica) - 2012-05-13

Published on May 21, 2012

Stinging nettle or common nettle, Urtica dioica, is a herbaceous perennial flowering plant, native to Europe, Asia, northern Africa, and North America, and is the best-known member of the nettle genus Urtica.

Grote brandnetel (Urtica dioica) is een plant uit de brandnetelfamilie (Urticaceae).

  Edible wild plants: Stinging nettle - Urtica dioica (Wilderness survival tips and courses)
Peak Survival

Uploaded on Sep 10, 2009

Stinging Nettle has a flavour similar to spinach when cooked, and is rich in vitamins A, C, D, iron, potassium, manganese, and calcium. Young plants were harvested by Native Americans and used as a cooked plant in spring when other food plants were scarce.

  Stinging Nettle
Christopher Stokes

Published on Aug 15, 2013

be-careful of this plant if you see it. they sting the skin when touched

Stinging nettle or common nettle, Urtica dioica, is a herbaceous perennial flowering plant, native to Europe, Asia, northern Africa, and North America, and is the best-known member of the nettle genus Urtica. The plant has many hollow stinging hairs called trichomes on its leaves and stems, which act like hypodermic needles, injecting histamine and other chemicals that produce a stinging sensation when contacted by humans and other animals. The plant has a long history of use as a medicine and as a food source.

Stinging nettle is a dioecious herbaceous perennial, 1 to 2 m (3 to 7 ft) tall in the summer and dying down to the ground in winter. It has widely spreading rhizomes and stolons, which are bright yellow as are the roots. The soft green leaves are 3 to 15 cm (1 to 6 in) long and are borne oppositely on an erect wiry green stem. The leaves have a strongly serrated margin, a cordate base and an acuminate tip with a terminal leaf tooth longer than adjacent laterals. It bears small greenish or brownish numerous flowers in dense axillary inflorescences. The leaves and stems are very hairy with non-stinging hairs and also bear many stinging hairs (trichomes), whose tips come off when touched, transforming the hair into a needle that will inject several chemicals: acetylcholine, histamine, 5-HT (serotonin), moroidin, leukotrienes, and possibly formic acid. This mixture of chemical compounds cause a painful sting or paresthesia from which the species derives its common name, as well as the colloquial names burn nettle, burn weed, burn hazel.

The taxonomy of stinging nettles has been confused, and older sources are likely to use a variety of systematic names for these plants. Formerly, more species were recognised than are now accepted. However, there are at least five clear subspecies, some formerly classified as separate species:
U. dioica subsp. dioica (European stinging nettle). Europe, Asia, northern Africa.
U. dioica subsp. galeopsifolia (fen nettle or stingless nettle). Europe. (Sometimes known as Urtica galeopsifolia)
U. dioica subsp. afghanica. Southwestern and central Asia. (Gazaneh in Iran)
U. dioica subsp. gansuensis. Eastern Asia (China).
U. dioica subsp. gracilis (Ait.) Selander (American stinging nettle). North America.
U. dioica subsp. holosericea (Nutt.) Thorne (hairy nettle). North America.

Other species names formerly accepted as distinct by some authors but now regarded as synonyms of U. dioica include U. breweri, U. californica, U. cardiophylla, U. lyalli, U. major, U. procera, U. serra, U. strigosissima, U. trachycarpa, and U. viridis. Other vernacular names include tall nettle, slender nettle, California nettle, jaggy nettle, burning weed, fire weed and bull nettle (a name shared by Cnidoscolus texanus and Solanum carolinense).

Stinging nettles are abundant in northern Europe and much of Asia, usually found in the countryside. It is less widespread in southern Europe and north Africa, where it is restricted by its need for moist soil. In North America it is widely distributed in Canada and the United States, where it is found in every province and state except for Hawaii and also can be found in northernmost Mexico. It grows in abundance in the Pacific Northwest, especially in places where annual rainfall is high. In North America the stinging nettle is far less common than in northern Europe[citation needed]. The European subspecies has been introduced into North America as well as South America.

In Europe stinging nettles have a strong association with human habitation and buildings. The presence of nettles may indicate that a building has been long abandoned. Human and animal waste may be responsible for elevated levels of phosphate and nitrogen in the soil, providing an ideal environment for stinging nettles.

sharing what i seen today with you.
if you have some time
please leave a comment below.
and Please Subscribe to my channel

and thank you very much for watching my videos..





Visitor Sightings

Report a sighting of this plant.



Avon Hills Forest SNA
North Unit

Baker Park Reserve

Banning State Park

Big Stone Lake State Park

Blackhoof River WMA

Blaine Preserve SNA

Blaine Wetland Sanctuary

Blue Devil Valley SNA

Blue Mounds State Park

Bonanza Prairie SNA

Boot Lake SNA

Brownsville Bluff SNA

Camden State Park

Cannon River Trout Lily SNA

Cannon River Wilderness Area

Carley State Park

Carpenter St. Croix Valley Nature Center

Cedar Mountain SNA

Cedar Rock SNA

Chamberlain Woods SNA

Charles A. Lindbergh State Park

Cherry Grove Blind Valley SNA

Chimney Rock SNA

Clear Lake SNA

Cleary Lake Regional Park

Clinton Falls Dwarf Trout Lily SNA

Compass Prairie SNA

Cottonwood River Prairie SNA

Crosby Farm Regional Park

Crow-Hassan Park Reserve

Crystal Spring SNA

Des Moines River SNA

Dodge Nature Center

Elm Creek Park Reserve

Englund Ecotone SNA

Falls Creek SNA

Felton Prairie SNA
Shrike Unit

Flandrau State Park

Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park

Fort Ridgely State Park

Franconia Bluffs SNA

French Regional Park

Frontenac State Park

Glacial Lakes State Park

Glendalough State Park

Glynn Prairie SNA

Greenleaf Lake SRA

Grey Cloud Dunes SNA

Hardscrabble Woods / MG Tusler Sanctuary

Hastings Sand Coulee SNA

Hastings SNA

Hayes Lake State Park

Holthe Prairie SNA

Hyland Lake Park Reserve

Hythecker Prairie SNA

Iron Horse Prairie SNA

Itasca State Park

Kasota Prairie

Kilen Woods State Park

Lake Alexander Woods SNA
South Unit

Lake Carlos State Park

Lake Elmo Park Reserve

Lake Louise State Park

Lake Maria State Park

Lake Rebecca Park Reserve

Lebanon Hills Regional Park

Leif Mountain

Lester Lake SNA

Liable Woods

Lost Valley Prairie SNA

Lundblad Prairie SNA

Malmberg Prairie SNA

Maplewood State Park

Mary Schmidt Crawford Woods SNA

Mille Lacs Kathio State Park

Mille Lacs Moraine SNA

Minneopa State Park

Minnesota Valley NWR
Black Dog Preserve Unit
Chaska Unit
Long Meadow Lake Unit
Louisville Swamp Unit
Rapids Lake Unit
Wilkie Unit

Minnesota Valley State Recreation Area
Lawrence Unit

Mississippi River County Park

Monson Lake State Park

Moose Lake State Park

Mound Prairie SNA

Mound Spring Prairie SNA
North Unit
South Unit

Murphy-Hanrehan Park Reserve

Myre-Big Island State Park

Nelson Wildlife Sanctuary

Ney Nature Center

Old Mill State Park

Ordway Prairie

Oronoco Prairie SNA

Osmundson Prairie SNA

Otter Tail Prairie SNA

Oxbow Park & Zollman Zoo

Partch Woods SNA

Pilot Knob

Pin Oak Prairie SNA

Prairie Coteau SNA

Prairie Smoke Dunes SNA

Racine Prairie SNA

Red Rock Prairie

Rice Lake State Park

Richard M. & Mathilde Rice Elliott SNA

Ripley Esker SNA

River Terrace Prairie SNA

River Warren Outcrops SNA

Robert Ney Memorial Park Reserve

Rock Ridge Prairie SNA

Roscoe Prairie SNA

Rushford Sand Barrens SNA

St. Croix Savanna SNA

Sandpiper Prairie SNA

Santee Prairie SNA

Savage Fen SNA

Savanna Portage State Park

Schoolcraft State Park

Sedan Brook Prairie SNA

Seminary Fen SNA

Shooting Star Prairie SNA

Sibley State Park

Split Rock Creek State Park

Spring Creek Prairie SNA

Spring Lake Park Reserve

Staffanson Prairie

Sheepberry Fen

Stanley Eddy Memorial Park Reserve

Strandness Prairie

Sunfish Lake Park

Swedes Forest SNA

Town Hall Prairie

Townsend Woods SNA

Twin Lakes SNA

Twin Valley Prairie Addition

Tympanuchus Prairie

Uncas Dunes SNA

Upper Sioux Agency State Park

Verlyn Marth Memorial Prairie SNA

Whitetail Woods Regional Park

Whitewater State Park

Wild Indigo Prairie SNA

Wild River State Park

William O’Brien State Park

Wood-Rill SNA

Woodland Trails Park

Yellow Bank Hills SNA

Zimmerman Prairie

Zumbro Falls Woods SNA




Last Updated:

About Us | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | © 2019 All rights reserved.