Girardinia diversifolia

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Girardinia diversifolia
Girardinia diversifolia.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Rosales
Family: Urticaceae
Genus: Girardinia
Binomial name
Girardinia diversifolia
  • Girardinia adoensis (Steud.) Wedd.
  • Girardinia armata Kunth nom. illeg.
  • Girardinia chingianae S.S.Chien
  • Girardinia condensata (Hochst. ex Steud.) Wedd.
  • Girardinia erosa Decne.
  • Girardinia formosana Hayata ex Yamam.
  • Girardinia furialis Blume
  • Girardinia heterophylla (Vahl) Decne.
  • Girardinia hibiscifolia Miq.
  • Girardinia javanica Wedd.
  • Girardinia leschenaultiana Decne.
  • Girardinia longispica Hand.-Mazz.
  • Girardinia palmata Blume nom. illeg.
  • Girardinia vahlii Blume nom. illeg.
  • Girardinia vitifolia Franch. nom. illeg.
  • Girardinia vitifolia Wedd.
  • Girardinia zeylanica Decne.
  • Urtica adoensis Hochst.
  • Urtica adoensis Hochst. ex Steud.
  • Urtica buraei H. Lév.
  • Urtica condensata Hochst. ex Steud.
  • Urtica diversifolia Link
  • Urtica heterophylla Vahl
  • Urtica lobatifolia S.S. Ying
  • Urtica palmata Forssk.

Girardinia diversifolia, commonly known as the Himalayan nettle[2] or Nilghiri nettle,[3] is found abundantly in open forest land, river sides, and moist habitat in Nepal and in Himalayan parts of India such as Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and J&K. It grows naturally at elevations between 1,200 to 3,000 metres (3,900 to 9,800 feet). It is a shade tolerant, tall, stout and erect herb growing up to 3m height with perennial rootstock. The plant grows as a clump, and each clump has many stem. The stem contains bast fiber of unique quality which is strong, smooth and light.[4]

Allo is a 1.5 to 3 metres tall[5] perennial herbaceous shrub that grows without cultivation all over Nepal.[6] It most frequently occurs in the hilly and mountainous regions at altitudes up to 3000 m.[7]

Vernacular names[edit]

The plant is locally known as:


Himalayan Nettle (Girardinia diversifolia) in Bageshwar

Traditional users of Allo are ethnic groups from across Nepal, including the Gurung, Magar, Rai and Tamang people.[8] Allo products are culturally important to both the Gurung[8] and the Rai.[7] It is also sold for commercial and non-religious purposes.[6] Non-fibre uses of the plant range from fodder and fuel wood,[7] to use as a live fence and in traditional medicines.[8] Allo fibre is very flexible and has high tenacity,[9] allowing it to be used in a multitude of applications ranging from clothing and bags to floor mats and rope.[8][10][11] Fibres made from allo are fully biodegradable.[9]


  1. ^ "The Plant List: A Working List of All Plant Species". Retrieved 14 December 2014. 
  2. ^ USDA GRIN Taxonomy, retrieved 4 September 2015 
  3. ^ "BSBI List 2007". Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland. Archived from the original (xls) on 2015-02-25. Retrieved 2014-10-17. 
  4. ^ Assessment of Allo Production and Enterprise Potential in Parbat District
  5. ^ Singh, S.C.; Shrestha, R (1988). "Girardinia diversifolia (Urticaceae), a non-conventional fiber resource in nepal". Economic Botany. 42 (3): 445–447. doi:10.1007/BF02860167. JSTOR 4255095. 
  6. ^ a b Dunsmore, J (1998). "Microenterprise development: Traditional skills and the reduction of poverty in highland nepal". Himalaya, the Journal of the Association for Nepal and Himalayan Studies. 18 (2): 22–27. 
  7. ^ a b c Barakoti, T; Shrestha, K (2008). "Commercial utilization of allo (Girardinia diversifolia) by the rais of sankhuwasabha for income generation". Banko Janakari. 18 (1): 18–24. doi:10.3126/banko.v18i1.2162. 
  8. ^ a b c d Gurung, A; Flanigan, H; Kumar Ghimeray, A; Karki, R; Bista, R; Gurung, O.P. (2012). "Traditional knowledge of processing and use of the himalayan giant nettle (Girardinia diversifolia (Link) Friis) among the Gurungs of Sikles, Nepal". Ethnobotany Research and Applications. 10: 167–174. 
  9. ^ a b Bajpai, P.K.; Meena, D; Vatsa, S; Singh, I (2013). "Tensile behavior of nettle fiber composites exposed to various environments". Journal of Natural Fibers. 10 (3): 244–256. doi:10.1080/15440478.2013.791912. 
  10. ^ Shrestha, R (1999). "Improvements on the traditional harvesting practice of girardinia diversifolia". Tropical Agriculture Research and Extension. 2 (1): 74–75. 
  11. ^ Dunsmore, J (1998). "Crafts, cash and conservation in highland nepal". Community Development Journal. 33 (1): 49–56. doi:10.1093/cdj/33.1.49.