Characteristics of nettles

What is a nettle plant

Characteristics of nettle

Common noun: Nettle, stinging nettle

Scientific noun: Urtica dioica L.

Nettle drawingNettle drawing

Family: Nettle family- Urticaceae

Habitat: In waste lands, rubbish dumps, by the side of the paths and in humid lands, with highly organic waste content

Description of nettle

Perennial plant of the nettle family – Urticaceae – up to 1,5 m. Square,erect stems. Leaves till 15 cm., serrated, pointed, dark green and covered, as the stem, by stinging hairs. Flowers in racemes, till 10 cm. long. Generally unisexual; female ones in long hanging catkins; male ones in shorter inflorescences.

Picking-up and storing nettles

Nettles can be collected at the beginning of spring till autumn. When used dried, they should be dried in the shade and stored in a a dry place

Detail of a nettle (female specimen)

Roots must be collected at the end of august and, after being dried in the sun, they must be stored in an airtight container.

Components of nettle

– Acids: caffeic, ferulic, folacin (plant); linoleic, oleic and palmitic (seeds), formic, galic, acetic. (stinging hairs)

Mucilage (plant)

Lecithin (plant)

– Histamine (stinging hairs)

Serotonin (stinging hairs)

– Acetyl-choline (stinging hairs)

Tannins (plant, especially the root)

– Alcohols: glycerol (seed)


– Vitamins: vitamin B ( Niacin, riboflavin,thiamin, choline) (leaves); Vitamin C (leaves); beta carotene; vitamin K

– Minerals: Nitrogen, potassium, iron, calcium, sulphur, magnesium, aluminium (leaves)

punto rojo More information on nettles

This article was endorsed by Julián Masats - Technical agricultural engineer specialized in horticulture and gardening.
Written by Editorial Botanical-online team in charge of content writing

13 May, 2024

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