Urtica dioica
Stinging Nettle

Urtica dioica, Stinging Nettle

Introduced perennial native to Eurasia, Stinging Nettle thrives in nitrogen-rich soils of moist woodlands, creekbeds and pastures. Named for silica-tipped stinging hairs on stems and leaves, nettle blooms June-Sept in tiny green male and female flowers borne on separate plants and wind pollinated.

Grow specs: Direct seed in spring, or late winter in cold frame in rich, moist high nitrogen soil under part shade. Using gloves, thin to 1ft. Hardy in all US zones. Good companion for other herbs, increasing their oil content. Attracts butterfly caterpillars.

Eaten cooked as delicious potherb high in iron and calcium, Stinging Nettle's tonic history dates back to Dioscorides in 1st century. Medicinally used as warming tea for anemia, arthritis, poor circulation, allergies, kidney and urinary ailments.

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