Laportea canadensis (L.) Wedd. - Wood Nettle


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Laportea canadensis - (image 1 of 8)



Family: Urticaceae


Wooded floodplains. Rich moist woods.


On floodplains with Acer saccharinum, Celtis occidentalis, Fraxinus americana, Menispermum canadense, Parthenocissus quinquefolia, Quercus bicolor, Rhus radicans, Sambucus candensis, Ulmus americana, Vitis riparia. Herbaceous associates include Actinomeris alternifolia, Amphicarpaea bracteata, Asarum canadense, Crypotaenia canadensis, Elymus virginicus, Galium aparine, Geum canadense, Impatiens capensis, Lysimachia ciliata, Phlox divaricata, Ranunculus arbotivus, Ranunculus septentrionalis, Rudbeckia lacinianta, Sanicula gregaria, Viola sororia. Also with Collinsia verna and Mertensia virginica.




Low herbaceous perennial to 3'. Leaves to 8" long, alternate, thin, ovate, coarsely toothed, on long petioles. Flowers tiny, monoecious; the female flowers green, with 4 sepals, 1 pistil, in loose elongated clusters in upper axils; male flowers greenish-white, petals abesent, sepals 5, stamens 5, in short cluster in lower leaf axils. Fruit seed-like, dry, shiny, brown-black, crescent-shaped. All parts of the plant except flowers armed with small, stiff, stinging hairs.


Flowers early July to late September

Wetland indicator: Facultative wetland

The stinging hairs on this plant are beautiful close-up.



Niering, W. A. 1979. The Audubon society field guide to North American wildflowers: eastern region.
Knopf/Random House, New York.


Swink, F. and G. Wilhelm. 1994. Plants of the Chicago Region.
Indiana Academy of Science. The Morton Arboretum. Lisle, Illinois.




 Michael Hough 2005