Page author: David Giblin
Urtica urens
burning nettle

Distribution: Introduced sparsely in western Washington; distributed throughout much of North America except parts of the Midwest and Intermountain West.

Habitat: Moist, disturbed soil.

Flowers: June-July

Origin: Introduced from Europe

Growth Duration: Annual

Conservation Status: Not of concern

Pollination: Wind


Taprooted annual 1-5 dm. tall, more or less pubescent and strongly stinging-bristly.


Leaves opposite, petiolate, the blades elliptic to ovate or obovate, 1.5-4 cm. long, becoming larger upward, coarsely and deeply serrate; petioles on lower leaves are longer than their blades; stipules 2-3 mm. long.


Flowers in axillary clusters much shorter than the leaves, greenish, apetalous and imperfect; pistillate and staminate flowers mixed in the clusters, the pistillate larger, 1-2 mm. long, with 4 unequal calyx lobes and 1-celled pistil; staminate flowers with 4 stamens.



Accepted Name:
Urtica urens L.
Publication: Sp. Pl. 2: 984. 1753. 1753.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
(none provided)
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Urtica urens in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database

WA Flora Checklist: Urtica urens checklist entry

OregonFlora: Urtica urens information

E-Flora BC: Urtica urens atlas page

CalPhotos: Urtica urens photos

8 photographs:
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