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Western Nettle
Hesperocnide tenella
  


About Western Nettle (Hesperocnide tenella) Hesperocnide tenella, also known as western nettle or western stingingnettle, is native to California and northern Baja California. It grows in chaparral, oak woodland, and coastal sage scrub communities up to 1,000 metres (3,300 ft) elevation. Hesperocnide tenella is an annual plant with slender erect stems that do not exceed 50 centimeters. Like many other nettles, it has stinging hairs that contain formic acid. These hairs are hooked much like the hook part of velcro, and they get caught in the skin and can become very irritating depending on how sensitive the individual is to formic acid. The leaves are ovate, somewhat thin, and opposite in arrangement; the leaves are toothed along the sides, so they appear heavily serrated. Hesperocnide tenella is an annual plant with slender erect stems that do not exceed 50 centimeters. Like many other nettles, it has stinging hairs that contain formic acid. These hairs are hooked much like the hook part of velcro, and they get caught in the skin and can become very irritating depending on how sensitive the individual is to formic acid. The leaves are ovate, somewhat thin, and opposite in arrangement; the leaves are toothed along the sides, so they appear heavily serrated. The inflorescences are round and head-like; they contain both pistillate and staminate flowers. The pistillate flowers have 2 to 4 sepals that are equal and fused to almost the tip, and one ovary. The staminate flowers have 4 sepals and 4 stamens. The flowers measure about a millimeter long. The fruit produced by the flowers are lenticular achenes and are enclosed by the calyx. There are two species in this genus; this one native to California, and the other Hesperocnide sandwicensis, native to Hawaii.
Plant Description
Plant Type
Annual herb

Native Status
Native

Natural Setting
Elevation ?
0' - 4428'

Annual Precip. ?
6.9" - 59.6"

Summer Precip. ?
0.14" - 1.58"

Coldest Month ?
40.6° F - 57.1° F

Hottest Month ?
61.2° F - 81.0° F

Humidity ?
0.47 vpd - 28.81 vpd

Landscaping Information
Nursery Availability
Never or Almost Never Available

Other Names
Common Names
Western Stingingnettle



Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora


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