Urtica urens
Nettle (Urtica urens) is present New Zealand wide except for Northland, Taranaki and Westland. It is well known as stinging nettle due its characteristic of causing swelling and stinging to the skin upon contact. The erect 60 cm tall annual is often found on farms in stock camps where it needs bare ground to germinate. Animals will not graze it. Nettle can also be a troublesome weed in cropping and horticulture.

Commonly called stinging nettle (Urtica urens) due to its leaves with stinging hairs on its leaves, which when brushed against cause a painful rash on human skin. Nettle is found throughout New Zealand especially in cropping areas and in pasture where it is not grazed by stock. Nettle can be a challenging weed in fodder beet crops as it is only susceptible to post-emergence herbicides as a seedling (3-4 leaf stage).


  • Round with slightly notched apex
  • Base rounded
  • Shortly stalked


  • Oval

Strongly toothed with stinging prickles Mature plants grow to 60 cm tall . Leaves are dark green, in opposite pairs on the stem and covered in stinging bristles. Inconspicuous green flowers arise from leaf axils.