Boehmeria cylindrica (Small-spike False Nettle)
|Also known as:|
|Habitat:||part shade, sun; wet fields, swamps, along shores, moist thickets|
|Bloom season:||July - September|
|Plant height:||16 to 40 inches|
|Wetland Indicator Status:||GP: FACW MW: OBL NCNE: OBL|
|MN county distribution (click map to enlarge):|
|National distribution (click map to enlarge):|
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Minute green to whitish flowers are in spikes 2 to 4 inches long that arise from the leaf axils in the upper part of the plant, a pair of spikes for each pair of leaves. The spikes tend to curve upward. There are separate male and female flowers, sometimes on separate plants. The flowers may be crowded on the spike, or spread out in clumps. A few small leaves are often clustered at the tip of the spike.
Leaves and stem:
Leaves are broadly oval to egg-shaped, to 6 inches long and 3 inches wide, coarsely toothed, hairless, have a rounded base, taper to a sharp point at the tip, and a long stalk. There are 3 main veins radiating from the base, usually with a few additional prominent veins on the tip half of the leaf. Color is often bright or yellowish green. Attachment is opposite, with each pair at right angles to the pair below it. The stem is smooth and 4-sided, with rounded angles.
False Nettle may look similar to Stinging Nettle or Wood Nettle, but does not have stinging hairs. The Clearweeds (Pilea pumila and Pilea fontana) are also similar and lack stinging hairs, but are typically smaller plants with translucent stems, branching flower clusters, and the venation on the leaves differs in that the lateral veins are more or less evenly spaced from the leaf edge all the way around.
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Photos by K. Chayka taken at Long Lake Regional Park, Ramsey County. Photos courtesy Peter M. Dziuk taken at Westwood Hills Nature Center, Hennepin County.
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