Nettle

Nettle

About Nettle

Nettles constitute between 24 and 39 species of flowering plants of the genus Urtica in the family Urticaceae, with a cosmopolitan though mainly temperate distribution. They are mostly herbaceous perennial plants, but some are annual and a few are shrubby. Most of the species have stinging hairs on the stems and leaves. The most prominent member of the genus is the stinging nettle, Urtica dioica, native to Europe, Africa, Asia, and North America. The genus also contains a number of other species with similar properties, listed below. However, a large number of species included within this genus in the older literature are now recognized as synonyms of Urtica dioica. Some of these taxa are still recognized as subspecies. Urtica nettles are food for the caterpillars of numerous Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths), such as the tortrix moth Syricoris lacunana and several Nymphalidae, such as Vanessa atalanta, one of the Red Admiral butterflies.