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NZ Plants

Urtica ferox - ongaonga, tree nettle

Nettle family: Urticaceae

Urtica ferox is a tall many branched woody perennial shrub with stems covered by short hairs and very large stinging hairs. The ovate tapering leaves have numerous stinging hairs along the midribs and leaf stalks. Flowers are very small and are compactly arranged on branching spikes at the base of leaves.
An endemic species found in moist sheltered lowland forest throughout New Zealand.

Vegetative characteristics

Reproductive characteristics

Plant form: shrub up to 2 m

Flower symmetry: symmetric

Leaf form: undivided, ovate-triangular

Flower size: 1-2 mm diam.

Leaf size: 80-120 mm

Tepals (sepals indistinguishable from petals): 4, green

Leaf arrangement: opposite

Sexuality: unisexual on different plants

Leaf attachment: stipule

Stamens: 4

Leaf margin: toothed

Ovary: above tepals

Leaf surface: hairs, stinging hairs

Fruit: dry