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Common Names in English:
Common Names in French:
, or shrubs
, rarely trees
, very rarely climbing
, stems often fibrous
, sometimes succulent. sometimes armed
; epidermal cells
of leaves, sometimes stems, perianths mostly with prominent
; Leaves alternate or opposite, stipules present, rarely absent; leaf blade
. Inflorescences cymose
, racemose, spicate
, or cluster-capitate, usually formed from glomerules
, sometimes crowded on common enlarged cuplike or discoid
receptacle, rarely reduced into a single flower. Flowers unisexual
monoecious or dioecious), rarely bisexual
in partial flowers; actinomorphic
, very small, (1-) 4- or 5-merous, rarely perianth absent in female flowers. Calyx absent. Perianth lobes imbricate or valvate
. Male flowers: stamens as many as and opposite to perianth lobes, filaments
in bud; anthers
2-locular, opening lengthwise, rudimentary
ovary often present. Female flowers: perianth lobes free
, usually enlarged in fruit and persistent
, occasionally absent; staminodes scarious
, opposite to the perianth lobes, or absent. Ovary rudimentary in male flowers, sessile or shortly stipitate
, free or adnate
to the perianth; 1-locular, ovule solitary, erect
from the base
; style simple, or absent; stigma diverse
, capitate, penicillate-capitate (brushlike), subulate
, or peltate. Fruit usually a dry achene, sometimes a fleshy
drupe, often enclosed by the persistent perianth. Seed solitary, endosperm usually present; embryo straight; cotyledons ovate
About 47 genera and 1300 species: most numerous in wet tropical regions , extending into temperate regions ; 25 genera and 341 species (163 endemic, one introduced ) in China.
Plants in this family have numerous uses. The stem fiber of some genera and species is of high quality and used to make cloth, fishing nets , and ropes and for some industrial materials . In central and southern China,
Boehmeria nivea is widely cultivated for ramie fiber and Girardinia diversifolia subsp. triloba is widely cultivated for red huo ma fiber. Boiled young shoots of Girardinia, Laportea, and Urtica are eaten as vegetables. Some species are used in local Chinese medicine. Pellionia repens, Pilea cadierei, P. microphylla, and P. peperomioides, among other species, are widely cultivated as ornamentals in China and elsewhere. Some genera, such as Elatostema, Pellionia, and Pilea, occur frequently in shady, moist habitats of subtropical forests and become dominant elements of the forest floor vegetation. Plants of the first five genera belong to tribe Urticeae, which is usually characterized by the distinctive stinging hairs.
, with stinging
and nonstinging hairs
on same plant. Stems simple
or branched, erect
, or sprawling
. Leaves opposite; stipules present. Leaf blades
, lanceolate, ovate
, or orbiculate, margins
to serrate; cystoliths
or ± elongate
. Inflorescences axillary
, of cymes arranged in racemes
or panicles. Flowers unisexual
flowers in loose
to tight clusters
in separate inflorescences or intermixed in same inflorescence on same or different plants
; bracts narrowly triangular to lanceolate, lacking hooked
hairs. Staminate flowers
: tepals 4, distinct
, equal; stamens 4; pistillode
cuplike. Pistillate flowers: tepals 4, distinct, inner 2 equal to achene, outer 2 smaller, without hooked hairs; staminodes absent; style absent; stigma tufted
or deciduous. Achenes sessile, laterally compressed
or deltoid, loosely enclosed by inner tepals. x
= 12, 13.
Species 45: nearly worldwide.
Habit: Evergreen .
Flowers: Bloom Period: April, May. • Flower Color: green
Size: 18-24" tall.
Typically found at an altitude of 0 to 1,758 meters (0 to 5,768 feet).
Sunlight: Sun Exposure: Partial to Full Shade.
- Whittaker & Margulis,1978
- Haeckel, 1866
- Cavalier-Smith, 1981
- Sinnott, 1935 ex Cavalier-Smith, 1998
- Vascular Plants
- Kenrick & Crane, 1997
- Brongniart, 1843
- Takhtajan, 1967
- Superorder: Urticanae () - Takhtajan Ex Reveal, 1992
- Subclass: Rosidae () - Takhtajan, 1967
- Class: Spermatopsida () - Brongniart, 1843
- Infraphylum: Radiatopses () - Kenrick & Crane, 1997
- Subphylum: Euphyllophytina ()
- Phylum: Tracheophyta () - Sinnott, 1935 ex Cavalier-Smith, 1998 - Vascular Plants
- Subkingdom: Viridaeplantae () - Cavalier-Smith, 1981
- Kingdom: Plantae () - Haeckel, 1866 - Plants
Members of the genus Urtica
ZipcodeZoo has pages for 18 species, subspecies, varieties, forms, and cultivars in this genus:
U. angustifolia (Narrow-Leaved Nettles) · U. ballotifolia (Nettle) · U. cannabina (Hemp Nettle) · U. chamaedryoides (Heartleaf Nettle) · U. dioica (California Nettle) · U. dioica dioica (California Nettle) · U. dioica holoserica (California Nettle) · U. dioica holosericea (California Nettle) · U. dioica subsp. gracilis (California Nettle) · U. dioica subsp. holosericea (Hoary Stinging Nettle) · U. ferox (Nettle Tree) · U. galeopsifolia (Narrow-Leaved Nettle) · U. gracilenta (Mountain Nettle) · U. hyperborea (Himalayan Nettle) · U. incisa (Scrub Nettle) · U. moluccana (Hawai'i Lopleaf) · U. pilulifera (Roman Nettle) · U. urens (Burning Nettle)
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- Hooker, J. D. The botany of the Antarctic voyage of H.M. discovery ships Erebus and Terror in the Years 1839-1843: under the command of Captain Sir James Clark Ross /by Joseph Dalton Hooker. 3 1860 London: Reeve Brothers, 1844-60. url p. lxxvi.
- Manual of the New Zealand flora. By T. F. Cheeseman. .. Wellington, N. Z., J. Mackay, Govt. Printer, 1906. url p. 1102, p. 635.
- New Zealand moths and butterflies (Macro-lepidoptera) by G. V. Hudson. .. with 13 plates. London, West, Newman & co., 1898. url p. 106, p. 106, p. 140, p. 140.
- Novon a journal of botanical nomenclature from the Missouri Botanical Garden. 8 1998 St. Louis, MO: Missouri Botanical Garden, url p. 17.
- Papers and proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania. Hobart, Tasmania, The Society. url p. 5, p. 75, p. 99.
- Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales. Sydney, Linnean Society of New South Wales. url , , , , , , , , p. 143, p. 151, p. 153, p. 173, p. 173, p. 24, p. 317, p. 318, p. 319, p. 627, p. 627, p. 630, p. 70, p. 703, p. 718, p. 790, p. 856, p. 96.
- Report of the Australian Association for the advancement of Science. Sidney, The Association. url p. 502.
- Second systematic census of Australian plants, with chronologic, literary and geographic annotations; by Baron Ferdinand von Mueller. Pt. I. --Vasculares. Melbourne: Printed for the Victorian Government by McCarron. Bird & Co., 1889. url p. 39.
- The Australian zoologist. Sydney, Royal Zoological Society of New South Wales url p. 207, p. 57.
- The Entomologist's monthly magazine. Oxford [etc.]Entomologist's Monthly Magazine Ltd. [etc.] url p. 157.
- The Journal of the Department of Agriculture, Victoria. [Melbourne]:Dept. of Agriculture, Victoria, 1902-1955. url p. 570, p. 602, p. 605.
- The Queensland flora: Queensland, Printed by H. J. Diddams & co., 1899-1902. url , .
- The Tasmanian flora. Hobart, Tasmania, J. Vail, Govt. Printer, 1903. url .
- The Victorian naturalist. [Melbourne]Field Naturalists Club of Victoria. url p. 121, p. 121, p. 126, p. 136, p. 136, p. 137, p. 141, p. 148, p. 157, p. 157, p. 159, p. 160, p. 172, p. 177, p. 179, p. 217, p. 218.
- The food of Australian birds. An investigation into the character of the stomach and crop contents. A summary of work done by J.B. Cleland. .. J.H. Maiden. .. W.W. Froggatt. .. E.W. Ferguson. .. C.T. Musson. .. Sydney, W.A. Gullick, Government Printer, 1918. url p. 44, p. 63.
- The tropical agriculturist. Colombo, Ceylon: A.M. & J. Ferguson, 1882- url .
- The vegetation of the Chatham Islands, Melbourne, J. Ferres, 1864. url .
- The weeds of New South Wales, pt. I- Sydney, W.A. Gullick, Gov't. printer, 1920- url p. 21, p. 41.
- Transactions and proceedings and report of the Royal Society of South Australia. Adelaide, Australia: The Society, 1880-1889. url p. 152, p. 84.
- Transactions and proceedings of the Royal Society of South Australia (Incorporated). Adelaide: W.C. Rigby, 1912-1937. url p. 181.
- Transactions of the Royal Society of South Australia. Adelaide, Australia: The Society, 1890-1903. url p. 37.
- Tutira: the story of a New Zealand sheep station / by H. Guthrie-Smith. Edinburgh: Blackwood, 1921. url p. 107.
- Chen Chiajui & Wang Wentsai. 1995. Urticaceae. In: Wang Wentsai & Chen Chiajui, eds., Fl. Reipubl. Popularis Sin. 23(2): 1404.
- Woodland, D. W., I. J. Bassett, and C. W. Crompton. 1976. The annual species of stinging nettle (Hesperocnide and Urtica) in North America. Canad. J. Bot. 54: 374-383.
- Woodland, D. W. 1982. Biosystematics of the perennial North American taxa of Urtica. II. Taxonomy. Syst. Bot. 7: 282-290.
- Woodland, D. W., I. J. Bassett, L. Crompton, and S. Forget. 1982. Biosystematics of the perennial North American taxa of Urtica. I. Chromosome number, hybridization, and palynology. Syst. Bot. 7: 269-281.
- Brands, S.J. (comp.) 1989-present. The Taxonomicon. Universal Taxonomic Services, Zwaag, The Netherlands. Accessed January 15, 2012.
Accessed through GBIF Data Portal December 06, 2007:
- Australian National Herbarium
- , Australian National Herbarium
- National Herbarium of New South Wales, NSW herbarium collection
- UK National Biodiversity Network, Botanical Society of the British Isles - Vascular Plants Database
- Biodiversity Heritage Library NamebankID: 10815751
- Global Biodiversity Information Facility Taxonkey: 5884651
- Globally Unique Identifier: urn:lsid:ipni.org:names:857650-1
- Zipcode Zoo Species Identifier: 997008
- Jiarui Chen, Prof. Qi Lin, Ib Friis, C. Melanie Wilmot-Dear & Alex K. Monro "Urticaceae". in Flora of China Vol. 5 Page 76. Published by Science Press (Beijing) and Missouri Botanical Garden Press. Online at EFloras.org. [back]
- "Urtica". in Flora of North America Vol. 3. Oxford University Press. Online at EFloras.org. [back]
- Mean = 488.350 meters (1,602.198 feet), Standard Deviation = 650.080 based on 1,748 observations. Altitude information for each observation from British Oceanographic Data Centre. [back]