Urtica massaica

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Urtica massaica
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Rosids
Order: Rosales
Family: Urticaceae
Genus: Urtica
U. massaica
Binomial name
Urtica massaica

Urtica massaica is a species of flowering plant in the Urticaceae (nettle family) known by many English names, including Maasai stinging nettle and forest nettle.[1] It is native to Africa, where it can be found in Congo, Burundi, Rwanda, Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania.[1]

This plant is a rhizomatous perennial herb up to 2 meters tall. It is covered in stinging hairs. The heart-shaped leaves are up to 13 centimeters long by 10.5 wide and have serrated edges. The plant is dioecious. The flowers are borne in panicles.[1]

This plant is used for food and medicine in several African nations. It is used in Rwanda to treat diarrhea.[2] The Maasai use it to treat stomach ache. They are used in Kenya to treat malaria. Other medicinal uses include treatment of fractures and venereal diseases.[1]

The plant is also used to repel rats and to keep cattle out of crops.[1]

Gorillas eat the plant.[2]