Stinging Nettle

Urtica dioica

Nettles have long been used as a cooked vegetable and have a delicious flavour similar to spinach. They are rich in Vitamins A and C, Iron, Potassium, Manganese, and Calcium. Soaking stinging nettles in water or cooking them removes the stinging substance (formic acid) from the plant, which allows them to be handled and eaten without irritation. In its peak season, nettle contains up to 25% protein (dry weight), which is high for a leafy green vegetable. The leaf and flowers can be dried and used to make an herbal tea. Nettle soup is a common use of the plant, particularly in Northern and Eastern Europe. Nettles are also sometimes used as a rennet in cheesemaking, and a flavouring in some varieties of gouda.

Water: Regular watering

Hardiness: Frost Hardy

Habit: Spreading herb with flowers 3 to 7' tall

Light: Full Sun to Partial Shade

Soil: Rich, neutral soil

Origin: Europe, much of temperate Asia and Western North Africa

Stinging Nettle