Not more than 10-20cm tall found in woodland. Hairy stem.
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...brush that stem against your hand and see what happens, would you? *laughs*
The leaf margins do look a bit rounded for Urtica, but I agree, that's what it looks like.
Pardon, Kate? Did you say "ouch!" ?
How to take close-ups with cheap phone and hand-lens:
Field Guides for Budding Botanists:
Seem particularly potent when they are this small, or maybe it is just that we've had the winter to forget the minor, but persistent, pain.
If you want to try cooking them, they are best picked when not much bigger than this sort of size. But you need to be sure of the species, and of course the pain is a very good characteristic to go on!
...stinging nettle soup, a slightly-sought-after delicacy.
I know that nettles were eaten in the UK during wartime, both as a green veg and steeped to make tea (uurk!) but you have to wonder how desperate you'd have to be, to even think about trying them.
I also saw Ben Fogle participate in a nettle-eating competition: apparently the trick is to get them into your mouth without them touching your lips.
I'm still on the look-out for Urtica urens, Small Nettle, as I haven't seen that one yet. Thought I found it last year, (http://www.ispot.org.uk/node/301247) but was shot down in flames!
They can be eaten as either, but (for me) definitely cooked!
I've often wondered about the first attempts at eating some foods. Various fungi, for instance, especially after a neighbour had suffered the inevitable result of trying a Death Cap.
It just shows how powerful a driver hunger can be, I guess. In some parts of the world slime moulds are collected. The fact that one local name is "caca da luna" (moon dung) suggests it's not exactly a delight to the palate.
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