Range: Nova Scotia to Ontario and Minnesota, southward to South Carolina and Missouri.
Habitat: Waste places and roadsides.
Not a very common plant, which is fortunate, since its stings are so venomous as to cause acute discomfort for a considerable time. It is well to know that dilute alcohol will almost immediately relieve the burning and itching pain. (Fig. 49.)
Stem two to four feet tall, stout, four-ridged, hollow, densely set with fiercely stinging hairs. Leaves long-oval, long-pointed, one to three inches wide and three to six inches long, three to five-nerved, rounded or heart-shaped at base, coarsely but sharply toothed, clothed with the venomous hairs; petioles much shorter than the blades. The flowers are small and greenish, similar to those of the preceding species, growing in large, compound clusters from the axils of the upper leaves, the fertile and the staminate flowers usually on different plants.
Fig. 49. -Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica). X 1/6.
Means of suppression the same as for the Slender Nettle.
Both this plant and the Slender Nettle yield a fiber said to be stronger and finer than that of flax, but no economic use has ever been made of them.