Cecropiaceae C. C. Berg
Urticaceae //, the nettle family, is a family of flowering plants. The family name comes from the genus Urtica. The Urticaceae include a number of well-known and useful plants, including the aforementioned nettles, ramie (Boehmeria nivea), māmaki (Pipturus albidus), and ajlai (Debregeasia saeneb).
The family includes about 2600 species, grouped into 54 to 79 genera according to the database of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. The largest genera are Pilea (500 to 715 species), Elatostema (300 species), Urtica (80 species), and Cecropia (75 species).
Urticaceae can be found worldwide, apart from the polar regions.
Urticaceae can be shrubs (e.g. Pilea), lianas, herbs (e.g. Urtica, Parietaria), or, rarely, trees (Dendrocnide, Cecropia). Leaves are usually entire and bear stipules. Urticating (stinging) hairs are often present. Urticaceae have usually unisexual flowers and can be both monoecious or dioecious. They are wind-pollinated. Most disperse their pollen when the stamens are mature and their filaments straighten explosively, a peculiar and conspicuously specialised mechanism.
The APG II system puts the Urticaceae in order Rosales, while older systems consider them part of Urticales, along with Ulmaceae, Moraceae, and Cannabaceae. APG still considers "old" Urticales a monophyletic group, but does not recognise it as an order on its own.
Genera (partial list)
The Urticaceae are subject to many bacterial, viral, fungal and nematode parasite diseases. Among them are:
- Bacterial leaf spot, caused by Xanthomonas campestris which affects Pellionia, Pilea and other genera
- Anthracnose, a fungal disease caused by Colletotrichum capsici which affects the Pilea
- Myrothecium leaf spot, a fungal disease caused by Myrothecium roridum which affects plants throughout the Urticaceae, as well as other angiosperms
- Phytophthora blight, a water mold disease caused by Phytophthora nicotianae which affects the Pilea
- Southern blight, a fungal disease caused by Sclerotium rolfsii which affects both Pellionia and Pilea
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