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NZ Plants

Urtica australis - southern nettle, Chatham Island nettle

Nettle family: Urticaceae

Urtica australis is a perennial herb with stems covered by shorter hairs and longer stinging hairs. The dark green leaves are oval with marginal stinging hairs. Flowers are very small and compactly arranged on branching spikes at the base of leaves.
A genus of about 40 annual to perennial herbs native to Europe, Asia, northern Africa, North America and Australasia.
An endemic species found at the western end of the South Island, the Chatham Islands, Stewart Island and some subantarctic islands.

Vegetative characteristics

Reproductive characteristics

Plant form: perennial herb up to 1 m

Flower symmetry: symmetric

Leaf form: undivided, ovate

Flower size: 1-2 mm diam.

Leaf size: 100-150 mm

Tepals (sepals indistinguishable from petals): 4, green

Leaf arrangement: alternate

Sexuality: unisexual on different plants

Leaf attachment: stipule

Stamens: 4

Leaf margin: toothed

Ovary: above tepals

Leaf surface: hairs, stinging hairs

Fruit: dry