Dendrocnide

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Dendrocnide
Dendrocnide meyeniana.jpg
Dendrocnide meyeniana
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Rosales
Family: Urticaceae
Genus: Dendrocnide
Species

37 species

Dendrocnide is a genus of 37 species of shrubs to large trees in the nettle family Urticaceae. They have a wide distribution across Southeast Asia, Australia and the Pacific Islands.[1]

They are colloquially known as stinging trees,[2] stinging nettles or nettle trees. One Australian species, Dendrocnide excelsa (giant stinging tree), can grow to over 40 metres in height, but the dangerous Dendrocnide moroides (gympie-gympie) is only shrub-size.

In Vanuatu, where Dendrocnide species are known by the Bislama name nanggalat, they have various customary uses, including the whipping of those found guilty of breaking taboos. The pain caused by merely touching the nanggalat is no worse than the sting of a common European nettle, but far more persistent, returning whenever the affected area of skin is touched by water, an effect that may last for days.

Dendrocnide species are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species, including Aenetus scotti.

Selected species[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ ABRS Flora of Australia Online Search Results
  2. ^ "The Australian Plant Names Index". 

Further reading[edit]

  • Stewart, Amy (2009). Wicked Plants: The Weed that Killed Lincoln's Mother and Other Botanical Atrocities. Etchings by Briony Morrow-Cribbs. Illustrations by Jonathon Rosen. Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill. ISBN 978-1-56512-683-1.