simplegreenguyFebruary 19, 2011

Hello I am looking for a source of stinging nettle roots or rhyzomes. I would like to add them to our edible wild plant garden. Any info would be great!!! Thanks

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fatamorgana2121(Zone 5/6)

Urtica dioica or stinging nettle is not native to North America. You'd be best to direct queries about that one to the Herbs forum but since I'm one of the regulars there, I'll answer here.

You can find stinging nettle seed at most vendors that sell medicinal herb seed. Plants only at the few that specialize in herb plants. Try Horizon Herbs or Richters for plants.

Of note, stinging nettle is not a friendly plant. It will "bite." Do not plant it any place you want to walk near or weed near. And most people on this forum would consider stinging nettle an invasive, alien species and would not encourage its planting. I would suggest looking to see if there are others in your nearby area looking to get rid of nettle before buying and planting any yourself. I've gotten HEAPS of nettle that way.


    Bookmark   February 19, 2011 at 10:22AM
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lycopus(z5 NY)

The subspecies gracilis is native to North America. Some older references call it U. gracilis or U. procera or otherwise consider it a variety of U. dioica. The native subspecies tends to be more slender with subcordate or rounded leaf bases, and fewer stinging hairs. The European subspecies has leaves that are deeply cordate at the base.

Not something I would consider invasive since nettles prefer disturbed waste ground that is high in nitrogen, although it is widely regarded as a weed. Some other places to look for it is along trails, on floodplains, and where old fields border woods.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2011 at 8:55PM
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Thanks for the nice response. After reading more about them Im not sure I want them in my yard . I will look in my area so I can just harvest some leaves.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2011 at 7:09AM
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An alternative to Stinging Nettle and an edible plant itself belonging to the same family, is Boehmeria cylindrica, or False Nettle. It does not have the stinging hairs, and is also a host plant for the Red Admiral butterfly.


    Bookmark   February 22, 2011 at 8:12AM
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shadylane5(5 North central Illinois)

I read in "Mother Earth" that gardeners use Stinging Nettles to add nitrogen into their soil. Thus said to give high leavels. Used in composting I'm guessing, for they do give a nasty welp.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2011 at 11:37AM
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Hi I need fresh nettles. Anyone has them?

    Bookmark   August 24, 2013 at 6:59PM
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Wood nettle-Laportea canadensis-is also a native version. And as some have pointed out, stinging nettle is indeed a native plant and is a required element in the landscape for some butterfly species.

Having said all that, there's nothing quite like an arm or a leg full of nettle stings on a hot, humid day. Place with care!


    Bookmark   August 28, 2013 at 9:36AM
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I keep a patch of nettles for the butterflies. But it isn't in a spot I weed for any reason, so I don't get into it. It hasn't increased much in size for the past dozen years or so, so I woudn't call it invasive. It's the native variety.


    Bookmark   August 29, 2013 at 7:08PM
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