As a green vegetable this plant will let you know in a not too of a subtle way, “I am here, feel my rash” due to the burning sensation caused by tiny hairs on the leaves and stem. "Less Sting" is a clonal selection found on our farm that had fewer stinging hairs on the leaf surface. The stems and petioles are still covered but not the leaf which has almost none.
Once cooked or dried, the stinging disappears completely which is a tough thing to overcome when trying them for the first time. Nettles taste a lot like spinach. High in vitamin A and C, calcium, magnesium and potassium, nettles have been used for poor circulation, to treat prostate cancer (the root), diarrhea, and hay fever, to name a few. Nettle is listed in the top 5 plants used by Native Americans as a fiber plant. Spreads quickly by rhizomes which can be an issue if you are hoping for a constrained version of this. "Less Sting' is not. Harvest the greens in spring when 6-12 inches tall or pluck leaves from the stem or cut with scissors.
|Genus & Species||Urtica dioica subsp. gracilis|
|Seed Source||Michigan, Ecos|
|Pollination Requirements||May produce seed that is not fertile.|
|Soil||Any. Likes disturbance in the soil department.|
|Ease of Cultivation||Very easy and might be too easy for some. Shade decreases its vigor. Rhizomes weaken and die with time with new ones replacing the old.Red Admiral butterfly and painted lady larvae munch away and weaken the plant in some years.|