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stinging nettle
Urtica dioica


1. Any of various plants of the genus Urtica, having toothed leaves, unisexual apetalous flowers, and stinging hairs that cause skin irritation on contact.
2. Any of various hairy, stinging, or prickly plants.
tr.v. net·tled, net·tling, net·tles
1. To sting with or as if with a nettle.
2. To irritate; vex.

[Middle English, from Old English netele; see ned- in Indo-European roots.]


- Got their name because people used to weave them into nets.
See also related terms for weave.
References in classic literature ?
At such a time I found out for certain, that this bleak place overgrown with nettles was the churchyard; and that Philip Pirrip, late of this parish, and also Georgiana wife of the above, were dead and buried; and that Alexander, Bartholomew, Abraham, Tobias, and Roger, infant children of the aforesaid, were also dead and buried; and that the dark flat wilderness beyond the churchyard, intersected with dykes and mounds and gates, with scattered cattle feeding on it, was the marshes; and that the low leaden line beyond, was the river; and that the distant savage lair from which the wind was rushing, was the sea; and that the small bundle of shivers growing afraid of it all and beginning to cry, was Pip.
A man who had been soaked in water, and smothered in mud, and lamed by stones, and cut by flints, and stung by nettles, and torn by briars; who limped, and shivered, and glared and growled; and whose teeth chattered in his head as he seized me by the chin.
As I saw him go, picking his way among the nettles, and among the brambles that bound the green mounds, he looked in my young eyes as if he were eluding the hands of the dead people, stretching up cautiously out of their graves, to get a twist upon his ankle and pull him in.
As I thought of all I owed that noble fish, I kneeled by the river's bearded lip, among the nettles and the meadowsweet, and swore by the inconstant moon that trout and I were henceforth kinsmen, and that between our houses should be an eternal amity.
I am not fond of nettles or thistles, or heath blossoms.
Then he shot the arrow and fell back and would have died, but he lit on a nettle and sprang up too gaily for a corpse.
But though Stepan Arkadyevitch was accustomed to very different dinners, he thought everything excellent: the herb brandy, and the bread, and the butter, and above all the salt goose and the mushrooms, and the nettle soup, and the chicken in white sauce, and the white Crimean wine-- everything was superb and delicious.
TABC commissioners picked Adrian Bentley Nettles, a decorated military officer and practicing lawyer, to head the Texas liquor agency after a closed-door session on Tuesday.
Because that encounter with the nature of nettles made me realize how much I like their smell, how the sight of their familiar form is somehow comforting, and how, perhaps because they have been a part of my life since it began, I feel a kind of kinship with them.
IF YOU are blessed - or cursed - with stinging nettles in your garden, then turn it to your advantage.