Urtica dioica (Stinging Nettle) - photos and description

Male flowers buds just beginning to open on June 6th.

Male flower.

Female flowers in above photo.

Stems have stinging hairs.


General: Upright, usually single-stemmed plants with stinging hairs. Stems square. Often found in dense patches.

Flowers: In drooping or spreading clusters from leaf axils, greenish in colour. Flowers of different sexes on different plants or in separate clusters on one plant. We measured a flower at 1.5 mm diameter. Flowers June-July.

Leaves: Lanceolate to ovate, serrate, opposite. The leaf highlighted in the photo above was 13.5 cm long by 53 mm wide. Leaves pubescent on bottoms and have very short hairs on the top surface making them rough to touch.

Height: Height listed in Flora of Alberta to 200 cm, we measured plants to 118 cm tall.

Habitat: Moist woods, thickets, beaver ponds, disturbed ground.

Abundance: Common.

Origin: Native.

When and where photographed: Photos taken June 6th waste ground beside stream, Buffalo Pound Provincial Park, about 70 km west of Regina, SK, and, June 30th, disturbed soil in mixed woods, about 425 km southwest of Regina, SK, and August 1st, Qu'Appelle Valley about 30 km north of our home in Regina, SK.