Tuesday 11th July 2017
Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica)
Nearly every child in the UK can recognise this tall plant by its toothed, pointed leaves and single stalk after coming off the worst when brushing against this species. The nettle is found in waste ground and in damp woods, such as Graces Wood on site typically on sites due to high levels of nitrogen and phosphates, essential nutrients for the nettle. Several species of butterfly larva only consume nettles and it is key to the diet of many moth larva making this an important plant in the woodland ecosystem. Many remedies exist for stinging nettle treatment from the more modern antihistamine creams to the dock leaf used throughout history.
By Tom Cowley
Fun Fact: Nettles have been used throughout history by mankind, nettles brushed against the skin are said to help alleviate joint pain and arthritis, they have been used to make tea and soups and were woven during the First World War as cloth for soldiers uniforms.