|Mallorca Nettle - Urtica bianorii|
|Plant in flowers|
|This nettle species is rather low and wide|
Roman Nettle - Urtica pilulifera - this is rare annual herb which can be used as vegetable (delicious young leaves - cooked and used as a potherb). The nettle beer is brewed from the young shoots. Also oily plant (edible oil pressed from large seeds), medicinal herb, fiber and dye plant and repellent insect pests. Very ornamental due to round inflorescences. It is native to southern Europe and Norther Africa. Sow the seeds surface or shallowly. They do not need any pre-treatment.
Pellitory-leaved Nettle - Urtica dodartii - the species similar to Roman Nettle (and sometimes described only as its variety U. pilulifera var. dodartii) but with entire (not dentate on edge) leaves and larger seeds. It can be used in the same manner as U. pilulifera. Very ornamental. Sow the seeds surface. They germinate easily without any pre-treatment.
Hemp-leaved Nettle, Siberian Nettle – Urtica cannabina – this is tall (0,5-1,5m = 2-5ft) herbaceous monoecious perennial with woody rhizome and burning hairs. The leaves 3-palmatisect or parmatipartite – something similar to hemp leaves. Native to China, Mongolia, Siberia, C and SW Asia, and Europe (Russia). Hardy at least to zone 5/6. This is excelent vegetable plant – young leaves – cooked are very nutritious food (high in vitamins and minerals, it makes an excellent spinach substitute and can also be added to soups and stews). Delicious nettle beer is brewed from the young shoots. To germination the seeds need a pre-treatment – sow them surface in autumn outside or cold stratify (store them in moist sand in fridge by a few months to time when they germinate).
Stingless Nettle, Fen Nettle - Urtica galeopsifolia – This is an unusual vegetable which can be used especially in raw state (because the leaves do not burn). U. galeopsifolia it is perennial about 2m tall. Its leaves and tops of shoots have not stinging hairs, but lower parts of stems have them (and burn when touched as stinging nettle - U. dioica). This species has also very long and narrow, pubescent leaves - in comparison to wider and shorter leaves of stinging nettle. It is also later in flowers - in half of July (U. dioica in half of June, so one month earlier) and has first inflorescences on 13-22 node since base (U. dioica on 7-14 node). Fen Nettle does not grow on synanthropic sites - it grows only on natural communities - on winter-flooded wet natural thickets, edges of rivers, wet woodlands etc. This is diploid species. U. dioica is tetraploid and it is probably hybrid of U. galeopsifolia and other nettle species which has appeared in far past in Scandinavia (and extended its range to almost whole Europe). It is unknown if U. galeopsifolia is rare species or common one in wild state, because botanists have not researched its distribution and have not even known that it exists (due to it is very similar to common nettle on the first glance). It grows in western, central and eastern Europe, the most often on the south of latitude 60' N (so it is very frost hardy). The seeds probably need a cold (8 weeks of cold stratification or sowing in cool place in autumn, winter or maybe early spring) to germination – but I am not sure it because I have never sown it and I only observed it in wild state in southern Poland.
|It has no stinging hairs in middle and upper parts|
|The leaves are usually long and narrow|
|It never grows in synantropic places. It grows only on marshes|
|It is usually monoecious|
|The upper stipules are connected at bases|
|Plants in winter. It creates numerous above ground runners|
The first was Urtica magellanica - Magellan Nettle, Ortiga de Magallanes – tender perennial native to South America (Peru, Bolivia, Chile and Argentina). It is very similar in appearance to common nettle but is not resistant to frost. My only plant which I grew from seed has been killed by mealybugs before flowering.
|The seeds of Utica ferox|
|This species has long and very sorely buring stinging hairs|
There are numerous other nettle species worldwide. Maybe they are common in your area. If you live in any exotic place and could harvest nettle seeds for exchange please write to me.