Native. Perennial. Propagates by seeds and by rootstocks.

Time of bloom: June to October.

Seed-time: August until cut off by frost.

Range: Nova Scotia to British Columbia, southward to the Carolinas, Missouri, and Kansas. Habitat: Rich soils; barnyards, roadsides, waste places.

Stem two to seven feet in height, slender, erect, usually simple, but sometimes with a few ascending branches, hollow and ridged, sparingly set with stinging hairs. Leaves opposite, slender, lance-shaped, rounded at base, three to six inches long, dark green above, paler below, three to five-nerved, sharply saw-toothed, also sparsely set with stinging hairs; petioles slender, more than half as long as the breadth of the leaf. Flowers small, greenish, sometimes dioecious, but more often on the same plant, the staminate ones near the top and the fertile flowers in the axils below, hanging in long, compound clusters; sterile flowers have four sepals, each with a stamen inserted at base; fertile flowers also have four sepals, the inner pair curving over and persistently enclosing the seed as it matures. Achenes very small, flattened ovoid, numerous. (Fig. 48.)

Fig. 48.  Slender Nettle (Urtica gracilis). X 1/6.

Fig. 48. -Slender Nettle (Urtica gracilis). X 1/6.

Means Of Control

Close cutting in June and again in August, using dry salt to check recovery. In yards and roadsides the rootstocks should be grubbed out and destroyed. The plants cut or pulled should be dried for a few days and then burned so as to ensure destruction of the seeds.