Urticaceae2017-08-12T17:32:06+00:00

Urticaceae: Nettle Family

Spreading Pellitory – Parietaria judaica

Blooms:

Nov–Aug

Plant Height:

10–80 cm

Flower Size:

Small cluster

Origin:

Europe, Africa

Habitat:

Moist places, common in coastal urban areas

Notes:

This is a non-stinging member of the nettle family – one of its few recommendations as the plant is weedy and undistinguished. The stem is decumbent to erect with 1–9 cm long, narrowly lanceolate to widely ovate leaves. The leaf base is tapered to round and the tip is more or less acuminate.  The greenish-white flowers are inconspicuous, in small head-like clusters in leaf axils and at intervals along the stem.

Hoary Nettle – Urtica dioica subsp. holosericea

Blooms:

June–Sept

Plant Height:

5–30 dm

Flower Size:

Medium cluster

Origin:

Native

Habitat:

Moist places, many communities

Notes:

This has tall, unbranched stems with large 6–20 cm long leaves, gray-hairy below. The small flowers are in elongated clusters, often drooping. The plant is generally monoecious with separate male and female flowers on the same plant but in separate clusters. Both this and Dwarf Nettle (Urtica urens) are common and capable of dealing an unpleasant sting even through clothing.

Dwarf Nettle – Urtica urens

Blooms:

Jan–June

Plant Height:

1–6 dm

Flower Size:

Small cluster

Origin:

Europe

Habitat:

Disturbed places

Notes:

A common weed, this is much shorter than Hoary Nettle (Urtica dioica) with smaller 2–4 cm long leaves, proportionately broader than those of Hoary Nettle, coarsely toothed and green on both surfaces. The plant is generally monoecious with separate male and female flowers on the same plant but growing together in head- or spike-like clusters immediately below the leaves. Both this and Hoary Nettle are capable of dealing an unpleasant sting even through clothing.