Urtica Dioica - Stinging Nettle
Native to Europe, temperate Asia and western North Africa, the Stinging Nettle has long since become naturalised worldwide.
Reaching up to 1-2m tall, this perennial dies back during winter months, with leaves up to 15cm long, ovate with serrated margins. The nettle is covered in small stinging hairs, highly irritable and can cause contact dermatitis for up to 12 hours. The 'sting' can be removed by soaking the nettle in water.
The leaves are edible and rich in beneficial vitamins. They can be used in place of spinach, used to make pesto, or in any number of cuisines. Be careful not to eat raw!
Fully hardy to -15°C. Leaves will die back in colder weather and spring back once temperatures rise.