, 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.
- 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
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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- Bulletin of miscellaneous information /Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. 1910 London: H.M. Stationery Office, 1900-1941. url p. 124.
- Manual of the New Zealand flora. By T. F. Cheeseman. .. Wellington, N. Z., J. Mackay, Govt. Printer, 1906. url p. 634, p. 635.
- Nature. London, Macmillan. url p. 222.
- New Zealand plants and their story. By L. Cockayne. .. Wellington, N.Z., M.F. Marks, Govt. Printer, 1919. url p. 193, p. 198, p. 246.
- Report of the Australian Association for the advancement of Science. Sidney, The Association. url p. 229, p. 231.
- The distribution of the vegetation and flora of New Zealand. By L. Cockayne. Nelson, N.Z., R.W. Stiles & Co., Printers, 1920 url p. 64.
- The subantarctic islands of New Zealand. Reports on the geo-physics, geology, zoology and botany of the islands lying to the south of New Zealand, based mainly on observations and collections made during an expedition in the government steam Wellington, N.Z.Printed by J. McKay, Gov't. Printer1909 url p. 198, p. 228.
- Transactions and proceedings of the New Zealand Institute. Wellington: New Zealand Institute. url p. 171, p. 241, p. 241, p. 245, p. 264, p. 265, p. 273, p. 292, p. 293, p. 322, p. 33, p. 339, p. 339, p. 436, p. 440, p. 539.
- 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.
- Global Biodiversity Information Facility. Accessed March 17, 2008. http://www.gbif.org Mediated distribution data from provider.
- Biodiversity Heritage Library NamebankID: 9728843
- Global Biodiversity Information Facility Taxonkey: 15890989
- Globally Unique Identifier: urn:lsid:ipni.org:names:857428-1
- International Plant Names Index (IPNI) ID: 857428-1
- Zipcode Zoo Species Identifier: 2055414
- 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]