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Published In: Species Plantarum 2: 983. 1753. (1 May 1753) (Sp. Pl.) Name publication detailView in BotanicusView in Biodiversity Heritage Library

Project Name Data (Last Modified On 6/2/2011)
Acceptance : Accepted
Project Data     (Last Modified On 6/3/2011)
General/Distribution: A genus with about 50 species; distributed mostly in North Temperate regions, a few occur in South Temperate and Tropical areas. Represented in our area by 4 species.


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Monoecious or dioecious herbs, covered with stinging hairs. Stem ridged or angular. Leaves petiolate, opposite,
(3-) 5-7-costate, serrate or palmately lobed; stipules free lateral or interpetiolar. Inflorescence of dichasial cymose clusters arranged in axillary unisexual or bisexual racemes, spikes or panicles. Flowers green, minute, unisexual. Calyx of 4, free, imbricate sepals, equal in male but unequal in female flowers. Stamens 4, opposite to sepals, staminodes absent in female flowers. Ovary ovoid. straight; style absent or very short, stigma capitate-penicillate; pistillode cup-like in male flowers. Achene ovoid-elliptic or oblong, compressed, enveloped by larger inner pair of sepals.

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1 Stipules free lateral (2)
+ Stipules connate, interpetiolar (3)
2 (1) Dioecious herb with dense indumentum of stinging hairs. Male and female flowers in axillary panicles Urtica dioica
+ Monoecious herb with scattered stinging hairs. Male flowers in catkin-like spike. Female flowers in long peduncled globose pseudo-heads Urtica pilulifera
3 (1) A small, up to 50 cm tall, basally woody undershrub, (with small stinging hairs). Leaves glandular puberulous below. Fruiting sepals not armed hispid Urtica hyperborea
+ A large, up to 150 cm tall herb copiously covered with long stinging hairs. Leaves not glandular-puberulous below. Fruiting sepals armed hispid Urtica ardens
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