Boehmeria cylindrica

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False nettle
Boehmeria cylindrica SCA-7300.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Rosales
Family: Urticaceae
Genus: Boehmeria
Species: B. cylindrica
Binomial name
Boehmeria cylindrica
(L.) Swartz

Boehmeria cylindrica, with common names false nettle and bog hemp,[2] is a herb in the family Urticaceae. It is widespread in eastern North America and the Great Plains from New Brunswick to Florida to Texas to Nebraska, with scattered reports of isolated populations in New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah as well as in Bermuda, Mexico, Central America, the West Indies and South America.[1][3]

The plant is an herb or subshrub to 160 cm tall, usually monoecious but rarely dioecious. Leaves are usually opposite though occasionally alternate, and the inflorecence a spike with a tuft of small bracts at the apex.[1][3]


Boehmeria cylindrica is a deciduous and usually dioecious growing plant. The plant grows to be half a meter to one meter in height with opposite leaf arrangement. Spike-like hairs are in the leaf axils. Leaves are ovate in shape and 6-8 centimeters in length and 3-4 centimeters in width. Flowers are green or greenish white in color and the flowers appear from the axils of the upper leaves. Small, oval shaped seeds are covered in small hook-like hairs. Once mature the seeds are dark brown.[4] The inflorescences resemble spikes and can be from 1-3 centimeters in length. Male and female flowers typically grow on separate plants. Male flowers are more prominently distributed among the spikes in bunches. The female flowers are less continuously distributed along the spikes.[5]


Some of the synonyms and intraspecific taxa are: Boehmeria austrina Small, Boehmeria cylindrica (L.) Sw. var. drummondiana (Weddell) Weddell,[6] and Boehmeria cylindrica (L.) Sw. var. scabra Porter.[7]


Boehmeria cylindrica can be found across the North American continent into Central and South America. It is native to north eastern Canada through majority of the United States from Maine to Florida and stretching out towards South Dakota to California.


The B. cylindrica can be found in wet to mesic deciduous woodland habitats. The plant flourishes the most in floodplain and bottom land areas.[5]


The Boehmeria cylindrica is wind pollinated.[4] Which means that plants are fertilized by pollen carried by the wind. Thus, the flowers do not attract many insects. Larvae of the fly Neolasioptera boehmeriae, form small galls in the shape of spindles.[5] Flowering season for Boehmeria cylindrica is during the summer to fall months.[8] During flowering season, pollen acts as an allergen to some.[9]


The generic name Boehmeria was named after the German botanist, Georg Rudolf Boehmer (1723-1803).[10]Boehmeria cylindrica is named based on its generally cylindrical spikes located in the leaf axils.[7]


  1. ^ a b c Flora of North America vol 3.
  2. ^ USDA GRIN Taxonomy, retrieved 8 January 2017 
  3. ^ a b Boufford, D. 1992. Urticaceae, Nettle Family. Journal of the Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science 26:42-49.
  4. ^ a b "Boehmeria cylindrica (Small-spike False Nettle): Minnesota Wildflowers". Retrieved 2016-12-08. 
  5. ^ a b c "False Nettle (Boehmeria cylindrica)". Retrieved 2016-12-08. 
  6. ^ "Search results — The Plant List". Retrieved 2016-12-08. 
  7. ^ a b "Plants Profile for Boehmeria cylindrica (smallspike false nettle)". Retrieved 2016-12-08. 
  8. ^ "Boehmeria cylindrica in Flora of North America @". Retrieved 2016-12-08. 
  9. ^ Longo, Loredana Rizzi; Sauli, Marialuisa Pizzulin; Ganis, Paola. "Aerobiology of Urticaceae pollen in Trieste (NE Italy)". Aerobiologia. 20 (1): 53–61. doi:10.1023/B:AERO.0000022982.22908.27. ISSN 0393-5965. 
  10. ^ "UW-System WisFlora - Boehmeria cylindrica". Retrieved 2016-12-08.