(Science: botany) A plant of the genus urtica, covered with minute sharp hairs containing a poison that produces a stinging sensation. Urtica gracitis is common in the northern, and U. Chamaedryoides in the southern, united states. The common European species, U. Urens and U. Dioica, are also found in the Eastern united States. U. Pilulifera is the roman nettle of England.
The term nettle has been given to many plants related to, or to some way resembling, the true nettle; as: Australian nettle, a stinging tree or shrub of the genus Laportea (as L. Gigas and L. Moroides); also called nettle tree. Bee nettle, hemp nettle, a species of Galeopsis. See Hemp. Blind nettle, dead nettle, a harmless species of Lamium. False nettle (Baehmeria cylindrica), a plant common in the united states, and related to the true nettles. Hedge nettle, a species of Stachys. See Hedge. Horse nettle (solanum Carolinense). See Horse. Nettle tree. Same as hackberry. See Australian nettle (above). Spurge nettle, a stinging American herb of the Spurge family (jatropha urens). Wood nettle, a plant (Laportea Canadensis) which stings severely, and is related to the true nettles. Nettle cloth, a kind of thick cotton stuff, japanned, and used as a substitute for leather for various purposes.
Origin: AS. Netele; akin to D. Netel, G. Nessel, OHG. Nezzila, nazza, Dan. Nelde, nalde, Sw. Nassla; cf, Lith. Notere.