Parietaria judaica

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Parietaria judaica
Parietaria judaica 000.jpg
Plants of Parietaria judaica
Scientific classification
P. judaica
Binomial name
Parietaria judaica
  • Parietaria diffusa Mert. & W.D.J.Koch

Parietaria judaica, with common names spreading pellitory or pellitory of the wall, is a species of herbaceous perennial plant in the family Urticaceae, commonly nicknamed sticky-weed. The plant's pollen is highly allergenic.[2] In Australia it is also known as asthma weed, due to the high incidence of allergy.[3] It is unrelated to the herb pellitory (Anacyclus pyrethrum). It is easily confused with the very similar species Parietaria officinalis.[4]


Parietaria (Latin): Wall-dweller (a name used by the Roman naturalist and philosopher Pliny). Judaica (Latin): Of Judaea, Jewish, from Palestine.[5]


Close-up on flowers of Parietaria judaica

The biological form of Parietaria judaica is hemicryptophyte scapose, as its overwintering buds are situated just below the soil surface and the floral axis is more or less erect. This plant has pink or red hairy stems, woody at the base. It reaches on average a height of 60 centimetres (24 in). The leaves are hairy, alternate, simple, entire and green, with smooth margins. The tiny white or pink flowers are attached to the stems. They are bisexual or unisexual, produced in clusters of three to many together in the leaf axils. The nickname sticky-weed is due to the adherent quality of the flowers and of the hairy stems; unlike some related species of the family Urticaceae, the hairs do not sting. The flowering period extends from spring through autumn, when it produces large amounts of pollen. The fruits are blackish achenes.


Parietaria judaica is a native of Europe, central and western Asia and northern Africa.[6]


Causes allergic reactions in some people.[6][7]


Generally considered a weed, it is often found on roadsides, along dry stone walls and in cracks of buildings and rock faces. However, it might useful in a habitat garden within its native range, as it is a larval food plant for red admiral butterflies. It is the host plant for the larvae of butterflies of the genus Vanessa. The ideal habitat is the dry places, at an altitude of 0–1,000 metres (0–3,281 ft) above sea level.



  1. ^ "Parietaria judaica", The Plant List, retrieved 2013-11-02
  2. ^ Stumvoll S, Westritschnig K, Lidholm J, Spitzauer S, Colombo P, Duro G, Kraft D, Geraci D, Valenta R (May 2003). "Identification of cross-reactive and genuine Parietaria judaica pollen allergens". J. Allergy Clin. Immunol. 111 (5): 974–9. PMID 12743560.
  3. ^ Sydney Weeds Archived 2009-11-16 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ Townsend, C.C. (1968). "Parietaria officinalis and P. judaica" (PDF). Watsonia. 6: 6. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-07-26.
  5. ^
  6. ^ a b
  7. ^ Ferrer, M.; Burches, E.; Peláez, A.; Muñoz, A.; Hernández, D.; Basomba, A.; Enrique, E.; Alonso, R.; Cisteró-Bahima, A.; Martín, S.; Rico, P.; Gandarias, B. (2005). "Double-blind, placebo-controlled study of immunotherapy with Parietaria judaica: Clinical efficacy and tolerance" (PDF). J Invest Allergol Clin Immunol. 15 (4): 283–292.

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