Home Plant List

Malheur Experiment Station
Oregon State University

Urtica dioica

Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica)

Urtica dioica
Common Names stinging nettle
Family Nettle
Flower Color Green
Plant Type Forb
Location McCall and many locations
Native Yes
Weed Can be

Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica) Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica)

stinging nettle(Urtica dioica) stinging nettle(Urtica dioica) stinging nettle(Urtica dioica) stinging nettle(Urtica dioica)

Stinging Nettle is a perennial that spreads by seed or rhizomes. They establish best in forested areas with a lot of moisture. It grows to be various heights depending on the amount of sun that reaches the plant, but usually will not get more than 3 m tall. The leaves grow in opposite arrangements up a slender green stem that was at one time used for making fishing nets. Most people who hike through the woods will experience the itchy white reaction from the formic acid. When a hand is brushed up against the hollow hairs on the leaf surface the acid is injected into the skin, but can be counter reacted by rubbing a backing soda and water mixture on it. Another way to counteract the acid is to find some Curled Dock (Rumex creispus), which grows in the same environment, crush some of the leaves in your hands and rub it on the itchy areas.

For additional information please send an e-mail request to:
Dr. Clinton C. Shock

Malheur Agricultural Experiment Station
595 Onion Avenue
Ontario, OR 97914
(541) 889-2174
FAX (541) 889-7831

Malheur Experiment Station Web Site Purpose and Policy OSU Home Page OSU disclaimer