Urtica dioica (Stinging Nettles)

Where Nettles Can be Found

 Urtica dioica was originally found in the cooler regions of northern Europe, Asia and the United States. Now stinging nettles can be found in many areas of the United States, Canada, Europe, Asia, Africa and South America. The stinging nettle flourishes in temperate climates where it can receive plentiful sunlight. The plants are commonly found along rivers, lakes and streams. However, they survive well in areas that have been subject to human destruction such as in ditches, along rail road tracks, at the edge of woods, in abandoned farm fields and in empty lots. Nettles are often plentiful in these areas because of the high nitrogen levels in the soil left behind from waste such as decomposing hay and animal feces.

 Nettles grow well in many locations as long as they have enough nutrients, sunlight and moisture; therefore they are considered by many to be a weed. Other plants that can be found in similar habitats include Acer saccharum (sugar maple) andLaetiporus sulphureus (chicken of the woods).

New stinging nettle plants begin to grow in early spring and continue to flourish until the last frost of the year. The flowers of the stinging nettle bloom between June and September.

Below is a map that shows where, throughout the world, stinging nettles have been found.


Now, discover why stinging nettles "sting".