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Nettle (Urticaceae)

Family:

nettle family (Urticaceae)

Flowering period:

June to September

Distribution:

mainly distributed in temperate regions of both the Southern and the Northern Hemisphere, colonizes a wide range of habitats, Parietaria only present in the northern hemisphere and more common in southern Europe than northern Europe

Appearance:

annual to perennial herbaceous plants, may be covered with stinging hairs, flowers are usually radially symmetrical and with many flowers together (branched, paniculate, spiky or racemose)

Important species in Europe:

Urtica (nettles): covered with stinging hairs and bristles, leaves are arranged in a cross-opposite, leaf blades are elliptic, lanceolate, ovate or circular, serrated leaf edge, food plant for many butterfly caterpillars.

Parietaria: no stinging hairs, leaves lanceolate, flowers greenish or reddish- greenish, in balls or wrapped around the leaf axils, the central European P. officinalis prefers shady ruderal habitats and replaces nettles in riparian forests; the allergenic P. judaica also present in exposed places in the Mediterranean region and along the Atlantic coast to the Midlands (often in cracks in the walls).

Allergenicity:

pollen grains from nettle have rather low allergenicity, those of Parietaria are moderately allergenic, very difficult to distinguish the two genera in skin prick tests and pollen morphology, another European genus (Pillularia) is rare and presumably of no allergological importance

Link zum Pollenatlas: Urtica dioica

Wissenschaftlicher Beirat:
Ass. Prof. Dr. Siegfried Jäger (Medizinische Universität Wien)
Univ. Prof. Dr. Reinhart Jarisch (Floridsdorfer Allergie Zentrum)
Mag. Matthias Werchan (Charité Berlin)
Prof. Dr. med. Karl-Christian Bergmann (Charité Berlin)

Quellen:

Österreichischer Pollenwarndienst, Medizinische Universität Wien, Österreich
Charité, Allergie-Zentrum-Charité, Klinik für Dermatologie, Venerologie und Allergologie, Berlin, Deutschland
Wikipedia
www.alles-zur-allergologie.de
22 Jahre Blüh- und Fruktifikationsuntersuchungen der Waldbaumarten im Lehrforst Ofenbach/Rosalia. R. Litschauer. 2010. Bundesforschungs- und Ausbildungszentrum für Wald, Naturgefahren und Landschaft, BFW-Berichte 144, 36 pp.
Waldbau auf soziologisch-ökologischer Grundlage. H. Mayer 1977. Gustav Fischer Verlag, Stuttgart – New York, 482 pp.

Habit of a nettle (Image rights: Katharina Bastl)
Habit of a nettle (Image rights: Katharina Bastl)
Male flowers of a nettle (Image rights: Katharina Bastl)
Male flowers of a nettle (Image rights: Katharina Bastl)
Female flowers of a nettle (Image rights: Katharina Bastl)
Female flowers of a nettle (Image rights: Katharina Bastl)
Flower of Parietaria (Image rights: Helmut Zwander)
Flower of Parietaria (Image rights: Helmut Zwander)
Habit of Parietaria (Image rights: Helmut Zwander)
Habit of Parietaria (Image rights: Helmut Zwander)
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