Herbs (and some tropical shrubs) with a watery juice, a tough, fibrous bark.
Leaves stipulate, often opposite, flowers small, monoecious or dioecious, in panicles, racemes, or dense clusters, furnished with a regular calyx. Stamens opposite to the calyx lobes. Ovary 1-celled, ovule erect, orthotropou3. Fruit a simple achenium.
Figs. 50, 459.
Genera 25, species 700? generally diffused in all climes. We retain under this order the Can-nabineae, dismissing the Artocarpeae, thus constituting a group which is at least practically natural.
Properties. - The Nettleworts are remarkable for the caustic secretion of their glandular, stinging hairs, which, had enough in our common nettle, attains a terrible virulence in certain E. Indian species. The juice of the Hempworts is bitter and narcotic. Savage nations procure an intoxicating liquor from the Hemp, and the more civilized a strong stimulant from the Hop. The fibrous bark of Hemp and other species is highly valuable in the arts.
URTICEae. - Filaments crenulate, expanding elastically. Fertile calyx 3 to 5-sepaled or toothed. Seed albuminous, with a straight embryo (*).
* Herbs with stinging hairs. - Stamens 4. Leaves opposite..............................
- Stamens 5. Leaves alternate...........................
* Herbs stingless. - Stamens 3. Fertile calyx 3-sepaled. Leaves opposite
- Stamens 4. - Fls. in slender spikes. Lvs. opp. or alt............
- Fls. in involucrate cymes. Lvs. altern. .
CANNABINEae - Filaments straight, or not clastic Fertile calyx of 1 sepal, lateral, embracing the ovary. Seed exalbuminous, with a curved or spiral embryo (*).
* Fruit a vaiveless achenium, in a strobile-like ament. Twining................................
* Fruit a 2-valved caryopsis, in axillary pairs. Lvs. digitate.......................................
1. UR'TICA, Tourn. Nettle. (Lat. uro, to burn; in reference to the stinging species.) Flowers 8 , sometimes ; calyx 4-scpaled, with a cup-shaped, central rudiment of an ovary; stamens 4; calyx persistent, 4-sepaled, the outer pair minute, the inner at length surrounding the shining, compressed achenium; stigma 1, sessile. - Herbs with stinging hairs. Lvs. opposite. Fls. green, in axillary or subter-minal clusters or racemes.
§ Clusters compound, longer than the petioles..............................
§ Clusters simple, shorter, or not longer than the petioles..............
3 - 5
1 U. procera Willd. St. tall, simple, 4-sided, slightly hispid with few stings; Ivs. lanceolate, acute or obtuse at base, rough, hispid, prominently 5-veined, acutely serrate; panicles axillary, very branching, numerous, interruptedly spicate, lower ones sterile, upper fertile. - Borders of nelds, waste places, N. Eng. and Can. St. 3 to 5f high, with a tough bark. Lvs. with the serratures incurved, acute or somewhat acuminate at apex, 3 times longer than the petioles. Fls. in glomerate panicles on the upper part of the stem. Jl. (U. gracilis Ait.)
2 IT. dioica L. Stinging Nettle. Very hispid and stinging; lvs. cordate, lance-ovate, conspicuously acuminate, coarsely and acutely serrate, the point entire, petioles thrice shorter; fls. 8 or , in branching, clustered, axillary, interrupted spikes longer than the petioles. - Waste places, common. Stem 2 - 4f high, branching, obtusely 4-angled, with opposite, short-stalked leaves which are 3 - 4' long, and about 1/2 as wide. Flowers small, green, in axillary clusters, of mean aspect, corresponding with the insidious character of the plant. Jl., Aug. § Eur. - Its power of stinging resides in minute, tubular hairs or prickles, which transmit a venomous fluid when pressed.
3 U.urens L. Dwarf Nettle. Lvs. broadly elliptic, or ovate, petiolaie, 3-veined, deeply and acutely serrate; clusters in spike-like, loose, simple pairs. - Weed, in cultivated grounds. Stem 12 - 20'high, hispid with venomous stings, branching. Leaves 1' or more long, half as broad, on short petioles and with large serratures. Stipules small, lanceolate, reflexed. Flowers in drooping, pedunculate clusters about as long as the petioles, both the sterile and fertile in the same axil. Rare northward, frequent South. Feb., Mar. (South). Apr. - Jn. (North). § Eur.
4 U. purpurascens Nutt. Assurgent, beset with spreading stings; lvs. broadly ovate, cordate, 3-veined, coarsely crenate-serrate; glomerulus capitate, much shorter than the petioles, dense, axillary, spicate at top. - Ky. to La. Sts. purplish, 12 to 18' high, flustered. Lvs. variegated, 1' long and wide, petiole 6 to 9". Mar. - May.
5 U. chameedroides Ph. St. bristly with stings; lvs. subsessile, ovate, serrate, strigous beneath; glomerulus axillary, sessile, subglobous, refiexed. - On the islands of Ga. (Pursh.) Lvs. small. Stings white and very conspicuous. May. - Is this a variety of U. urens?
2. LAPOR'TEA, Gaudich. Wood Nettle. Flowers 8 or ; calyx 6-parted; stamens 5; ovary rudimentary, hemispherical; calyx 4-sepaled, the 2 outer minute, the 2 inner foliaceous in fruit; stigma subulate, elongated; achenia compressed-lenticular, very oblique, finally reflexed on the winged pedicel. - Hairs stinging. Lvs. ample, alternate, ovate. Fls. in axillary panicles, the lower sterile, upper fertile.
L. Canadensis Gaud. Hispid and stinging; lvs. on long petioles, broad-ovate, rounded or subcordate at base, serrate, acuminate; panicles axillary, solitary or in pairs, divaricate, mostly shorter than the petioles, the fertile nearly terminal elongated in fruit. - Damp woods, U. S. and Can. St. 2 to 6f high, mostly simple, flexuous at top. Lvs. 3 to 5' by 2 to 3', more or less hispid both sides, sometimes nearly smooth. Lower petioles 3' long. Fls. minute, in panicles 1 to 4' in length, the fertile panicle about 2', erect, enlarged in fruit. Aug. (Urtica Canadensis and divaricata L.)
3. PI'LEA, Lindley. Rich-weed. (Lat. pileus, a cap; from the resemblance of one of the sepals of P. muscosa.) Flowers 8 or