Click on the language to view common names.
Common Names in Arabic:
Angurah, Nabât En Nâr, Qurrays
Common Names in Danish:
Common Names in Dutch:
Common Names in English:
Common Names in Finnish:
Common Names in French:
Ortie à Pilules, Ortie Romaine
Common Names in German:
Pillen-Brennessel, Pillennessel, Römische Nessel
Common Names in Hungarian:
Római Csalán, Szedercsalán
Common Names in Italian:
Common Names in Norwegian:
Common Names in Polish:
, 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.
Flowers: Flower Color: green
Size: 36-48" tall.
Culture: Space 15-18" apart.
Sunlight: Sun Exposure: Sun to Partial Shade.
- Whittaker & Margulis,1978
- Haeckel, 1866
- Cavalier-Smith, 1981
- Sinnott, 1935 ex Cavalier-Smith, 1998
- Vascular Plants
- Kenrick & Crane, 1997
- Brongniart, 1843
- Takhtajan, 1967
- Takhtajan Ex Reveal, 1992
- Order: Rosales () - Perleb, 1826
- 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
An accepted name in the RHS Horticultural Database.
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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- A catalogue of plants cultivated in the garden of John Gerard, in the years 1596-1599 /edited with notes, references to Gerard's Herball, the addition of modern names, and a life of the author, by Benjamin Daydon Jackson. 1876 London: Privately printed, 1876 url p. 64.
- A compendium of the Cybele britannica; or British plants in their geographical relations. London, Longmans, Green, Reader & Dyer, 1870. url .
- A manual flora of Egypt / by Reno Muschler. With a preface by Paul Ascherson and Georg Schweinfurth. Berlin, R. Friedlaender, 1912. url p. 1235, p. 1253.
- A manual of botany: including the structure, classification, properties, uses, and functions of plants. London, John Churchill and Sons, 1870. url p. 637.
- A manual of poisonous plants, chiefly of eastern North America, with brief notes on economic and medicinal plants, and numerous illustrations, Cedar Rapids, Ia., The Torch Press, 1911. url .
- A manual of poisonous plants: chiefly of eastern North America, with brief notes on economic and medicinal plants, and numerous illustrations / by L.H. Pammel. Cedar Rapids, Iowa: Torch Press, 1910-1911. url p. 412.
- A natural arrangement of British plants: according to their relations to each other as pointed out by Jussieu, De Candolle, Brown, &c.. .. / with an introduction to botany. .. By Samuel Frederick Gray. .. London: Baldwin, Cradock, and Joy, 1821. url p. 253.
- A new British flora: British wild flowers in their natural haunts / described by A. R. Horwood; with sixty-four plates in colour representing 350 different plants, from drawings by J. N. Fitch and many illustrations from photographs. London: Gresham, 1919. url p. 212.
- A new British flora; British wild flowers in their natural haunts, described by A. R. Horwood, with 64 plates in col. representing 350 different plants, from drawings by J. N. Fitch and many illus. from photo. London, Gresham Pub. Co., 1919. url p. 212.
- A new London flora; or, Handbook to the botanical localities of the metropolitan districts. Compiled from the latest authorities, and from personal observations. London, Hardwick and Bogue, 1877. url p. 74.
- A review of the references to the Hortus malabaricus of Henry Van Rheede Van Draakenstein [sic] Swansea: Printed at the Cambrian-Office, by Murray and Rees, 1839. url p. 8.
- A second series of the Manners and customs of the ancient Egyptians, including their religion, agriculture, &c. Derived from a comparison of the paintings, sculptures, and monuments still existing, with the accounts of ancient authors. By Sir J. Gardner Wilkinson. .. London, John Murray, 1841. url p. 68.
- A system of physiological botany by Rev. P. Keith. .. Dublin: J. Cumming, 1816. url p. 109.
- A text-book of botany, by Eduard Strasburger. .. Dr. Heinrich Schenck. .. Dr. Fritz Noll. .. [and] Dr. George Karsten. London, Macmillan and co., limited, 1908. url p. 314.
- Alien flora of Britain. London, West, Newman, 1905. url p. 172.
- An account of the flowering plants, ferns and allies of Harleston. With a sketch of the geology, climate, and natural characteristics of the neighbourhood. Compiled and edited by Francis William Galpin. To which are added Observations on the birds of the district, by Charles Candler. London, Bartlett, 1888. url p. 128.
- An illustrated dictionary of scientific terms. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, pref. 1878. url p. 234.
- An introduction to cytology, by Lester W. Sharp. .. New York [etc.]McGraw-Hill book company, inc., 1921. url p. 416.
- An introduction to physiological & systematical botany. Philadelphia, A. Finley;1814. url p. 131.
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- British entomology; being illustrations and descriptions of the genera of insects found in Great Britain and Ireland: containing coloured figures from nature of the most rare and beautiful species, and in many instances By John Curtis. London, Printed for the author, 1823-40. url p. 30, p. 82.
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- Carnegie Institution of Washington publication. Washington, Carnegie Institution of Washington, 1902- url p. 77.
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- Contributions towards a Cybele hibernica, being outlines of the geographical distribution of plants in Ireland. Dublin.Hodges, Smith, 1866. url p. 265.
- Contributions towards a fauna and flora of the county of Cork, read at the meeting of the British association held at Cork in the year 1843. The Vertebrata by Dr. Harvey. The Mollusca, Crustacea and Echinodermata by J.D. Humphreys. The flora by Dr. Power. (Published by the Cuvierian society of Cork) London, J. Van Voorst, 1845. url p. 57.
- Cybele Britannica: or British Plants and their geographical relations. London, 1847-59. url p. 369, p. 370.
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- English botany, or, Coloured figures of British plants / edited by John T. Boswell Syme; the popular portion by Mrs. Lankester; the figures by J. Sowerby, J. de C. Sowerby, J.W. Salter, and John Edward Sowerby. London: R. Hardwicke, 1863-1886. url .
- English plant names from the tenth to the fifteenth century by John Earle. Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1880. url .
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- Flora hibernica: comprising the flowering plants, ferns, Characeæ, Musci, Hepaticæ, Lichenes and Algæ of Ireland: arranged according to the natural system with a synopsis of the genera according to the Linnæan system by James Townsend Mackay. Dublin: W. Curry jun., 1836. url p. 232.
- Flora of Cambridgeshire; or, A catalogue of plants found in the county of Cambridge; with references to former catalogues, and the localities of the rarer species. London, J. Van Voorst, 1860. url , .
- Flora of the Bristol coal-field. Edited (for the Bristol Naturalists' Society) by James Walter White. .. Bristol, J. Fawn & Son [etc.]1881- url p. 168.
- Flora of the U.S.S.R. [Springfield, Va.: Israel Program for Scientific Translations; 1968- url , p. 308.
- Flora vectensis: being a systematic description of the phænogamous or flowering plants and ferns indigenous to the Isle of Wight. London, W. Pamplin, 1856. url .
- Floral emblems. By Henry Phillips. London, Saunders and Otley, 1825. url p. 104.
- Flowering plants of the Riviera: a sescriptive account of 1800 of the more interesting species / by H. Stuart Thompson; with an introduction on Riviera vegetation by A. G. Tansley London; New York: Longmans, Green, 1914. url p. 192.
- Flowers of the field. London, G. Routledge, 1908. url .
- Gardening for beginners; a handbook to the garden, by E.T. Cook. [London]"Country Life" [etc., 1914] url .
- General indexes to the thirty-six volumes of English botany: to which is added, an alphabetical index to English fungi: making together, a catalogue of indigenous British plants. London: J. Sowerby, 1814. url p. 13.
- Genetics and eugenics: a text-book for students of biology and a reference book for animal and plant breeders. Cambridge [Mass.]Harvard University Press1921 url p. 360.
- Genetics and eugenics; a text-book for students of biology and a reference book for animal and plant breeders, by W. E. Castle. Cambridge, Harvard University Press, 1921 [c1916] url p. 360.
- Handbook of the British flora: a description of the flowering plants and ferns indigenous to, or naturalised in, the British Isles. For the use of beginners and amateurs. By George Bentham. London, L. Reeve & Co., ltd., 1918. url p. 399.
- Hardwicke's science-gossip: an illustrated medium of interchange and gossip for students and lovers of nature. London: Robert Hardwicke, 1866- url p. 106, p. 167, p. 275.
- Heredity / by J. Arthur Thomson. London: J. Murray, 1912. url p. 356, p. 357, p. 358.
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- Heredity. LondonJ. Murray1912 url p. 357.
- Heredity. New York, Putnam, 1908. url p. 359.
- How to find and name wild flowers; being a new method of observing and identifying upwards of 1, 200 species of flowering plants in the British isles; with an introduction by F.E. hulme. .. illustrated by the author, and with four autochrome plates by H. Essenhigh Corke. .. London, Cassell[1906-1930] url p. 246.
- Illustrations of the British flora: a series of wood engravings, with dissections, of British plants, drawn by W.H. Fitch and W.G. Smith. London: Reeve, 1908. url p. 219.
- Introduction to botany, containing an explanation of the theory of that science, extracted from the works of Linnaeus, ed. by C. Stewart. Edinburgh, Bell, 1811. url p. 281.
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- Manual of British botany: containing the flowering plants and ferns arranged according to the natural orders / by Charles Cardale Babington. London: John Van Voorst, 1856. url p. 295.
- Memorials, journal and botanical correspondence of Charles Cardale Babington. Cambridge, [Eng.]: Macmillan and Bowes, 1897. url p. 174.
- Miller, P. The gardeners dictionary: containing the best and newest methods of cultivating and improving the kitchen, fruit, flower garden, and nursery, as also for performing the practical parts of agriculture, including the management of vineyards, with the methods of making and preserving wine, according to the present practice of the most skilful vignerons in the several wine countries in Europe, together with directions for propagating and improving, from real practice and experience, all sorts of timber trees /by Philip Miller. 1768 London: Printed for the author and sold by John and Francis Rivington. .. [and 23 others], 1768. url p. URT-UVU.
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- Outlines of classification and special morphology of plants, by K. Goebel. A new ed. of Sachs' Text-book of botany, book II, authorized English translation by Henry E. F. Garnsey; rev. by Isaac Bayley Balfour. With 407 woodcuts. Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1887. url p. 410, p. 410.
- Physiological plant anatomy, tr. by Montagu Drummond. London, MacMillan, 1914. url p. 131.
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- Popular field botany; containing a familiar and technical description of the plants most common to the various localities of the British Isles, adapted to the study of either the artificial or natural systems. London, Reeve, Benham & Reeve, 1849. url p. 335.
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- The flora of British India /By J. D. Hooker assisted by various botanists. Published under the authority of the secretary of state for India in council. London: L. Reeve, 1875-97. url p. 548.
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- Travels in Brazil, in the years 1817-1820, : undertaken by command of His majesty the King of Bavaria by Dr. Joh.Babt. von Spix and Dr. C. F. Phil. von Martius / London, Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, Brown and Green;1824. url p. 52.
- Voyages and travels in the Levant in the years 1749, 50, 51, 52: containing observations in natural history, physick, agriculture and commerce: particularly on the Holy Land and the natural history of the Scriptures / written originally in the Swedish language by the late Frederick Hasselquist; published. .. by Charles Linnaeus. London: Printed for L. Davis and C. Reymers, 1766. url p. 278.
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- Woodland, D. W. 1982. Biosystematics of the perennial North American taxa of Urtica. II. Taxonomy. Syst. Bot. 7: 282-290.
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- Brands, S.J. (comp.) 1989-present. The Taxonomicon. Universal Taxonomic Services, Zwaag, The Netherlands. Accessed January 15, 2012.
Accessed through GBIF Data Portal November 11, 2007:
- Biologiezentrum der Oberoesterreichischen Landesmuseen, Biologiezentrum Linz
- Botanic Garden and Botanical Museum Berlin-Dahlem, Herbarium Willing
- Conservatoire botanique national du Bassin parisien, Conservatoire botanique national du Bassin parisien
- GBIF-Spain, Departamento de Biolog. Veg. II, Facultad de Farmacia, Universidad Complutense, Madrid: MAF
- GBIF-Spain, Herbario Universidad de Málaga: MGC-Cormófitos
- GBIF-Spain, Hortus Botanicus Sollerensis Herbarium
- GBIF-Spain, Universidad de Almería, HUAL
- Israel Nature and Parks Authority, Israel Nature and Parks Authority
- The Swedish Museum of Natural History
- , Herbarium of Oskarshamn
- The Swedish Museum of Natural History
- , Lund Botanical Museum
- UK National Biodiversity Network, Botanical Society of the British Isles - Vascular Plants Database
- inatura - Erlebnis Naturschau Dornbirn, inatura - Erlebnis Naturschau Dornbirn
- Biodiversity Heritage Library NamebankID: 8331065
- Global Biodiversity Information Facility Taxonkey: 4490920
- Globally Unique Identifier: urn:lsid:ipni.org:names:857823-1
- Zipcode Zoo Species Identifier: 648453
- 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]