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false-nettle, small-spike false nettle


Habit Herbs or subshrubs, 1-16 dm. Herbs, subshrubs, or shrubs, perennial, rhizomatous, without stinging hairs, sparsely to ± densely pubescent or tomentose with hooked, curved, or straight, nonstinging hairs on all parts of plant.

simple to freely branched, erect.


blades elliptic, lanceolate to broadly ovate, 5-18 × 2-10 cm, almost glabrous on both surfaces or abaxially densely short-pilose or puberulent, adaxially scabrous.

blades lanceolate to broadly ovate, base rounded to cordate, less often cuneate, margins dentate or serrate, apex acuminate;

cystoliths rounded.


spikelike, often leafy at apex.

axillary, spikelike or paniculate.


in remote or crowded clusters of 1-few staminate and several pistillate flowers or rarely staminate and pistillate flowers on different plants.

unisexual, staminate and pistillate flowers on same plant, rarely on different plants, in remote or crowded clusters in same or separate inflorescence;

bracts linear.

Staminate flowers

tepals 4;

stamens 4;

pistillode globose.

Pistillate flowers

tepals 4, connate, adnate to ovary;

staminodes absent;

style persistent, elongate;

stigma linear, straight or hooked.


ovoid to nearly orbicular, 0.9-1.6 × 0.9-1.2 mm, almost glabrous or pubescent with straight and hooked hairs;

seeds prominent, conspicuous in outline, surrounded except at base by corky tissue.

sessile, laterally compressed, ovoid, nearly orbicular, or ellipsoid, tightly enclosed by persistent perianth.


= 14.


= 28.

Boehmeria cylindrica


Phenology Flowering summer–fall.
Habitat Alluvial or moist, deciduous woods, swamps, bogs, marshes, wet meadows, ditches
Elevation 0-1800 m (0-5900 ft)
from FNA
AL; AR; AZ; CT; DC; DE; FL; GA; IA; IL; IN; KS; KY; LA; MA; MD; ME; MI; MN; MO; MS; NC; NE; NH; NJ; NM; NY; OH; OK; PA; RI; SC; SD; TN; TX; UT; VA; VT; WI; WV; NB; ON; QC; Mexico; Central America; West Indies; Bermuda; South America (Argentina, s Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Venezuela)
[WildflowerSearch map]
[BONAP county map]
from USDA
Tropical and subtropical regions worldwide
[BONAP county map]

Populations of Boehmeria cylindrica are disjunct in South America.

Plants with thick, often drooping, lanceolate leaf blades, more or less pilose or puberulent abaxially, scabrous adaxially, with short petioles, pilose or puberulent stems, and densely pubescent achenes have been called Boehmeria cylindrica var. drummondiana. These plants are found mostly, but not exclusively, in the southeastern United States and are totally sympatric with more typical plants. The above characteristics may or may not occur together, and each grades into the state found in more typical plants through abundant intermediates. Field and experimental studies are needed to clarify the biologic basis of this variation.

(Discussion copyrighted by Flora of North America; reprinted with permission.)

Species 50 (2 in the flora).

(Discussion copyrighted by Flora of North America; reprinted with permission.)

1. Leaf blades abaxially glabrous, puberulent, or short-pilose, not white-tomentose; inflorescences spikelike.
B. cylindrica
1. Leaf blades abaxially densely white-tomentose; inflorescences paniculate.
B. nivea
Source FNA vol. 3. FNA vol. 3.
Parent taxa Urticaceae > Boehmeria Urticaceae
Sibling taxa
B. nivea
Subordinate taxa
B. cylindrica, B. nivea
Synonyms Urtica cylindrica, B. cylindrica var. drummondiana, B. decurrens, B. drummondiana, B. scabra
Name authority (Linnaeus) Swartz: Prodr., 34. (1788) Jacquin: Enum. Syst. Pl., 9. (1760)
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