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Kirill Morozov
Kirill Morozov

False Nettle [Extra Quality]

Boehmeria cylindrica is a perennial that dies back in the fall to return each spring. It is native throughout Eastern, central and Southwestern states in the United States and up into Eastern Canada. It does not have any stinging hairs unlike its relative, stinging nettle (which the butterflies listed above also use for a host plant). So it is a good plant to add to a butterfly garden without the worry of gloves and handling.

false nettle

These three butterflies have other host plants that they will use as well but the False Nettle is one that can fit nicely into a garden setting (unlike stinging nettle or the trees that some of these butterflies use).

When the caterpillars pupate they normally do not leave the plant like many other caterpillars do. Instead they make a large leaf nest on the plant and pupate inside it. False nettle is a very easy plant to raise caterpillars on indoors (or elsewhere) because the cuttings hold up very well in water.

False nettle is very easy to propagate from cuttings. It will readily root in water or soil. When I put cuttings in water for the caterpillars they always grow roots while the caterpillars are eating.

Our native False Nettle plants (Boehmeria cylindrica), as with all of our plants, are grown specifically to be safe for butterflies/caterpillars. You can start feeding caterpillars right away. False Nettle is in the same family as stinging nettle but without any sting.

False Nettle is a flowering, herbaceous perennial plant that is native to Canada and North America. It is commonly found on moist or shady ground, deciduous woods, swamps, bogs, marshes, wet meadows and ditches. The plant displays tiny greenish flowers in small clusters, arranged in continuous or interrupted spikes in the axils of opposite leaves. Although a member of the nettle family and, in appearance, like stinging nettles Urtica dioica or Laportea canadensis, plants in this genus do not have stinging hairs on its opposite leaves. The genus name honors the German botanist Georg Boehmer. The species name is based on the cylindrical spikes located in the leaf axils.

Boehmeria cylindrica, with common names false nettle and bog hemp,[2] is an herb in the family Urticaceae. It is widespread in eastern North America and the Great Plains from New Brunswick to Florida to Texas to Nebraska, with scattered reports of isolated populations in New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah, as well as in Bermuda, Mexico, Central America, the West Indies, and South America.[1][3]

False Nettle, Boehmeria cylindrica, is an herbaceous perennial that grows 2-3 ft. in height. It has tiny greenish flowers that are in small clusters, arranged in continuous or interrupted spikes in the axils of opposite leaves. Plant lacks stinging hairs. False nettle needs moist to wet conditions and sun to partial sun. This is a larval plant for Red Admiral butterflies.

Small-spiked false nettle is found in rich, moist forests, riparian forests and swamps throughout New England. It resembles stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) and wood nettle (Laportea canadensis), but unlike them it does not sting.

False nettle Boehmeria cylindrica C=2 Color: white Parts indistinguishable Plant type: Flowering perennial Where can you find this plant Bloom period: July- September Distinguishing characteristics: Opposite leaves with cylindrical spikes of greenish to white flowers coming out from leaf axils near stem. Leaves areegg-shaped with coarse, pointed teeth at the edges. Plants grow 1-3 feet tall. Habitat quality: Tolerates shade but becomes much more common in areas that are cleared of shrubs. We found this species to be very common in the first year after clearing buckthorn. Developed by: Doug Landis and Anna Fiedler, MSU Department of Entomology. Funding support: National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Lynn and Thelma MacCready Forest and Wildlife Endowment, MSU, and Hanes Trust of the Michigan Botanical Club. Partners: The Nature Conservancy, Michigan Natural Features Inventory, The Stewardship Network, Michigan DNR Landowner Incentive Program. For more information on native plants and prairie fens, go to

This species is in the Nettle Family and looks much like stinging nettle. However, it does not have stinging hairs. Larval host for several species of moths. Larval host for red admiral (Vanessa atalanta) and eastern comma (Polygonia comma) butterflies. Ground cover in moist sites in casual settings. Needs a pond or regularly heavily flooded moist soil. Very attractive when young, but becomes somewhat weedy and tall as it matures.

Anyone who has walked through a patch of stinging nettles in shorts can be excused for doubting if they are edible. The good news - once the itching and stinging has faded away - is the answer is yes, if you know how to gather and prepare them before eating them.

Nettles are not only tasty but very nutritious and can be used in recipes that call for spinach. They are high in vitamins A and C and minerals like calcium, manganese, phosphorus and iron. In Missouri, we have three nettles to choose from: two natives and one introduced. Oddly enough, the most popular is stinging nettle, which is native to Europe, but it is so widespread that it has naturalized in Missouri bottomlands. Some call this kind of encounter a crash course on plant identification and contact dermatitis!

According to Ben Charles Harris, author of "Eat the Weeds," nettles can replace spinach in recipes. Leaves can be cooked quickly for two or three minutes with very little water and make an excellent green vegetable.

The two most common species of nettle are our native wood nettle (Laportea canadensis) and the non-native but naturalized stinging nettle (Urtica dioica). Both grow in similar habitat and are usually found growing together with woodland wildflowers like sweet William and edible wild leeks. Wood nettle has fewer stinging hairs than stinging nettle. False nettle (Boehmeria cylindrica) with no stinging hairs is also edible but is less common.

The best time to collect nettles is in spring when plants are 6-8 inches tall. In early spring you can gather the tips of plants. If you do that often and harvest them as they grow back, you will have fresh tips all through spring. Young plants are the most appetizing because they become fibrous and tough with age.

Directions: In a large pot over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the carrot, wild leeks and potato, and cook until soft. Add the stock, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and add the nettles. Cook for 15 minutes. Remove from heat. With a blender, mix the soup until very smooth. Return to pot and season with salt and pepper. Stir in the sour cream. Serve hot.

Directions: Beat together the eggs, ricotta, yogurt and Parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the blanched nettles and pour into the mini phyllo cups. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Garnish with minced red pepper. Serve warm or cold.

from the November 10, 2013 Newsletter issued from the Frio Canyon Nature Education Center in the valley of the Dry Frio River in northern Uvalde County, southwestern Texas, on the southern border of the Edwards Plateau, USAFALSE NETTLE Sometimes plants turn up here that I'd thought could never survive in such arid country. Normally such species appear around seeps and at the water's edge. That was the case this week when a six-ft-tall (2m) herb or "subshrub" found in deep shade below a little waterfall where the Dry Frio broke over a thin outcropping of hard limestone. Below, you can see the plant's nettle-like leaves arising two per stem node, and erect, fingerlike spikes of tiny fruits from the leaves' axils:

This old friend from the humid East was the False Nettle, BOEHMERIA CYLINDRICA. Wildflower books wanting to distinguish it from other members of the genus call it the Smallspike False Nettle. Though it belongs to the Nettle Family, the Urticaceae, it's a"false" nettle because it doesn't bear stinging hairs the way "real" nettles do. Mostly we think of nettles as belonging to the genus Urtica.

False Nettle is a native plant found throughout Virginia and in much of the United States. The caterpillars of Comma, Question Mark, and Red Admiral butterflies feed on the foliage, as do caterpillars from the Flowing-line Hypena moth. Despite its name, False Nettle is in the nettle family. The stinging nettle plants for which False Nettle is sometimes mistaken have sharp hairs like hypodermic needles which inject histamine and trigger an autoimmune response in humans that is very painful. However, in Africa, gorillas can handle stinging nettles and eat them with seemingly no ill effects.

What a terrible common name for a group of great textural plants. Boehmeria is a genus in the family Urticaceae, which contains trees, shrubs, and perennials including nettles. Boehmeria species are virtually indestructible in a variety of soils and moisture levels, but they are not for gardeners who haven't graduated past the flash and flower of annuals. Boehmeria grow best in a partially shaded site with well a consistently moist, well-drained soil. Outside of Japan, boehmeria is a very uncommon ornamental shrub that is slowly gaining recognition. The subtle, light-colored variegation of some boehmeria leaves brighten up shady corners of the garden. Use boehmeria as you would coleus, to provide a long lasting splash of color in the garden.

Close up shot of red admiral larval host plant, stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) growing alongside the Provo River in Utah. When looking for caterpillars, never touch this plant without rubber gloves unless you know what you\'re doing and have experience with this plant.

Using rubber gloves, place cuttings of stinging nettle in bottled water. Cork the opening with toilet or facial tissue; so that the plant goes through to the water; but caterpillars CANT! Replace host every five days or so. Make sure your lid either has holes or cut a hole out of the lid and place screen over the hole so that caterpillar frass will dry and not get your larva sick. 041b061a72


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