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Unfriendly Plant That May be Lurking in Your Garden

Stinging Nettle is starting to show up in area gardens and roadside ditches. But what is it?

Health Watch while in the Garden.
Because of the rain we have had in SE Wisconsin, Stinging Nettle is starting to show up in area gardens and roadside ditches. This plants true name is "Urtica-Dioica". The leaves and stems are green and if left in the ground, with produce flowers along the stems. This plant is also covered with small almost needle like projections that act like a needle, and when touched or brushed against will poke you and and your pets thus injecting histamines into your skin and cause a burning sensation, followed by raised white bumps that burn and tingle. This causes you to scratch the area and increase the toxin's spread into your skin.
If you come in contact with this plant, immediately wash the affected area with soap and water and apply either Calamine lotion or an itch relief spray.
Stinging Nettle should be removed with gloves if possible, If you are composting, add it to the mix, Stinging Nettle is high in nitrogen and the plants are useful as a compost activator.

A picture of what the stings look like on your skin, can be found on my page on facebook.

https://www.facebook.com/Kathys2ndChancePlants

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Mercedes August 08, 2012 at 12:48 AM
How about mentioning the "health aspects" of stinging nettle? We can rinse and eat in salad or soup. Good as a tea for many ailments. One of the "old time" remedy plants. Yes it stings, but it helps so much too.
jbw August 09, 2012 at 09:35 PM
I made some stinging nettle tea last year. It has a pleasant sweet and green taste. The plant is relatively high in nutrients and used as a food crop in some parts of the world. I wasn't aware it was spreading around the area, though. I'll have to keep a lookout for it.
Kathy Bondar August 09, 2012 at 11:17 PM
Mercedes and jbw, thanks for this additional input. Happy Gardening.

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