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Extension > Garden > Diagnose a problem > Is this plant a weed? > Broadleaf Weeds > Upright > Stinging Nettle

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Stinging Nettle

Urtica dioica L.

  • Image: broadleaf Plantain
  • Image: broadleaf Plantain
  • Image: broadleaf Plantain

Found in:

  • Prairie and landscape plantings
  • Woodland edges and poorly maintained landscapes


  • Light green, upright perennial
  • All parts of the leaves and stems are covered with long hairs
  • Stems are four-sided, ridged and grooved
  • Leaves are coarsely toothed or jagged along the edges
  • Leaves are opposite one another along stem
  • Fibrous root system has underground stems (rhizomes)
  • New plants can grow from rhizomes


  • Minnesota Invasive Weed that spreads rapidly
  • Long hairs on plant sting skin when touched
  • Wear protective clothing when hand pulling

Plants that look similar:

  • Creeping Bellflower (foliage)
  • Motherwort
  • Figwort (foliage)
  • White Snakeroot (foliage)
  • Wild Aster (foliage)

More information and control options for Stinging Nettle

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