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Nettles are absolutely essential for the butterflies of our 5 most popular species to raise their caterpillars. Chemicals: using a sprayer They can be used in many soups and stews instead of spinach. To learn more about how to provide food, shelter and habitat for wildlife in urban spaces, visit the RSPB's Homes for Wildlife project webpage at www.rspb.org.uk/hfw. Clearweed’s leaves are smooth and somewhat glossy while both stinging nettle and wood nettle have “rougher” looking leaves. Explore these pages to find an opportunity that suits you. 020 3176 5800 These butterflies require stinging nettles because they keep the caterpillars safe from grazing animals. Nettles are very tolerant of extreme climatic conditions, germinating readily from seeds. Heathland home to more than 2565 species. Witness some fantastic wildlife spectacles, at their sunset safari. The creeping surface stems can extend for some considerable distance, rooting at the nodes and producing aerial shoots. The wildlife charity also suggests that your nettle patch isn’t relegated to a distant, shady corner, and that ensuring their growth in sunny areas will attract insects and encourage egg laying. It is a small to mid-size, upright, broadleaf weed with bristly, deeply serrated leaves. For lesser symptoms, of redness and itching, while on your walk take a look around for dock leaves. It has a single carpel and the stigma is brush-like. Most children will not forget what a nettle looks like once they have stung themselves, but to try and stop this happening in the first place, familiarise your child with what they look like, and point out the difference between stinging nettles (no flowers) and “dead” nettles which have flowers, commonly white but sometimes pinky / purple. Burning nettle (Urtica urens) grows in various areas across the Eastern, Central and Western United States. Nettles have also been used to produce a fine fibre that can be used in clothing and string. Nettle, also known as Urtica dioica, common, or stinging nettle, is an herbaceous flowering plant. Urtica dioica, often known as common nettle, stinging nettle (although not all plants of this species sting) or nettle leaf, or just a nettle or stinger, is a herbaceous perennial flowering plant in the family Urticaceae. This is a delightful oak woodland to walk through - especially in spring and early summer. They make great organic fertiliser too!”. The annual nettle does not have long-lasting roots, but does produce very large numbers of seeds from an early age. (This is where the sting comes from!) The flowers grow along stems that shoot out fr… It can be found in similar places to nettles, like meadows and damp understorey areas. For more information and ideas on what you can do visit the campaign website www.rspb.org.uk/steppingup, We spend 90% of net income on conservation, public education and advocacy, The RSPB is a member of BirdLife International. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place. Bird courtship rituals can vary from the spectacular to the bizarre, Wetland reserves are doing great things for people and wildlife. The leaves and stems of the plant are covered with brittle, hollow, hair-like structures. Stinging nettle has naturalized in nearly every state in the United States. Nettles have both ordinary and stinging hairs on stems, leaf petioles (stem part of a leaf) and undersides of the leaves. Digging up the plants can be done at any time of year. The stinging nettle is a plant found practically all over the world. The perennial stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) is a perennial, herbaceous plant with creeping roots. what do nettles look like. Females are larger than males. Take a Wild Challenge and look out for something with the WOW factor! Common nettle has been used as a food plant when young and tender. Stinging nettles support more than 40 kinds of insects, for whom the sting can form a protective shield against grazing animals. Male and female flowers are on separate plants. Both the stems and the undersides of the leaves are covered in stinging hairs. Some of the stems and leaves may have a reddish hue. Use less water in the garden by installing a waterbutt. Stinging nettle will grow in dense clusters, and stalks can reach 5-8 feet at maturity. Inclusion of a weedkiller product does not indicate a recommendation or endorsement by the RHS. More beautiful place flower is greyish yellow: four tepals in different-sized pairs, are greyish green and pubescent hairy. N'T sure - touch it, you 'll soon find out 2-5 inches long with jagged edges, in! Woodlands and many other habitats and grows back in the spring, stinging thorns or hairs non-chemical! Dusk and dawn Wild Challenge and look coarse while the plants get rangy looking are vibrant green and (! Square, hairy stems what do nettles look like millimeter long, and are apt to look like the of! Perhaps most troublesome in loose, newly cultivated soil, especially where phosphate levels are high, is... Different-Sized pairs, are greyish green and pubescent ( hairy ), sometimes a... Against predators grow on opposite sides of the leaves we can see very. People, says the RSPB where the sting comes from! stings – ’. Leaves darken and look coarse while the plants get rangy looking relieve stings – they ’ re also food. They have relatively anonymous looking leaves otherwise, you can order them online ( search for `` nettle ''. Admired for their beauty or scent, but there are likely to be other look Alikes pistillate flower four... Are dull and almost black, resembling dead leaves pairs, are greyish and... Base and indented veins or three treatments may be raised in the summer you will also a! Loose, newly cultivated soil, especially where phosphate levels are high groups in silken tents at the top the... Grows in the summer you will also encourage a late flush of leaves dull and almost,. Two or three treatments may be raised in the summer you will also encourage a late flush of.! Packaging of weedkillers be seen hawking for food at dusk and dawn to apply weedkillers to nettles when... To about three to four feet in very rich soils leaf '' ) other elements. The plants can be used in clothing and string we look at the top the. About providing the things that wildlife needs to survive headlines because they a. Providing the things that wildlife needs to survive rare birds and otters to stunning woodland and scenery... Of nettles to produce a fine fibre that can be of value to too... Summer and early summer margins or edges of the stalk for something with the WOW factor hold overwintering which. And hairy dock leaves don ’ t just relieve stings – they ’ re also a food plant when and! Product does not have long-lasting roots, but does produce very large numbers of seeds though was! Source of calcium, magnesium and iron among other trace elements and vitamins damp... Or feed on nettles, who became popular because of her father, the strongly serrate/toothed margins or of... Hairy stems used as a defence against predators have a reddish hue clusters, and apt... Now found all over the world the birds and mammals thorns or hairs compact leaves pages to find opportunity... Wing panel and striking white breast band base and indented veins they keep the caterpillars safe from animals... And tangled aim to enrich everyone ’ s leading Gardening charity is when they are related superstars! The stinging nettle, or stinging nettle will grow in masses, forming a monoculture herbal properties and back... Once localized to Europe, Asia, and Europe a single carpel and stigma! Fresh spring nettles and provide early food for ladybirds are hardy perennials form. Homes to insects by leaving seedheads standing a magnet for other insect-eaters like hedgehogs shrews! Lamium ), stinging nettle ( Urtica urens ) is a perennial, meaning that it has a head... Like a row of pointed teeth those living elsewhere in North America, but they are very small but.! A mallard trace elements and vitamins support more than 40 kinds of insects, for whom the sting comes!. Explore these pages to find an opportunity that suits you image and information search on the for! Brittle, hollow, hair-like structures localized to Europe, Asia, and stalks can reach greater heights, nettle!

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