Scientific name: Urtica
Higher classification: Urticaceae
Lower classifications: Urtica urens, Stinging nettle
The box standard Stinging Nettle, Considered by most to be a weed. Although I do not have them in my garden I would if I had enough room for them as they are attractive to all Insects and Butterflies. If you want to see the prettier butterflies in you garden such as the tortoiseshell and Peacock, then these are the plants for you. Also good if you don't want the neighbours cat coming into the garden as they will not go near them due to the powerful stings the nettles have. Nettles can engulf a section of the garden very quickly and will smoother any other plants that happen to be in the way. Control of them is hard but it is possible as long as you are willing to put the effort into it.
Nettles also have good uses, it can be used to make soup, tea and even wine. Nettle can also be used to make clothing... Shocking I know but the stems are very fibrous an can be spun to make string and used to make fabric. They are very nutritional and contain magnesium, iron and calcium. If you are going to use them for anything, make sure you know what you are doing as the stinging hairs on the underside of the leaf contains formic acid and tends to leave bumps. Although in the wild the natural first aid box for nettles is usually sitting right next it, the humble dock leaf. I will cover this plant in another post.
Nettles will grow just about anywhere and are not fussy about the type of soil, that's why nettles are commonly seen on waste ground. So next time you walk past a patch which can grow to over 4 feet in height, think of how useful this plant actually is.
My name is Jonathan and I enjoy working in my garden in my spare time. I am no professional, just an amateur. My second love is photography, shooting the flowers in my garden and of course sharing them with people who share my passions.