The plant has a long history of use as a source project on medicinal plants pdf medicine, food, and fibre. The leaves have a strongly serrated margin, a cordate base, and an acuminate tip with a terminal leaf tooth longer than adjacent laterals. It bears small, greenish or brownish, numerous flowers in dense axillary inflorescences.
Formerly, more species were recognised than are now accepted. Europe, Asia, and northern Africa, has stinging hairs. Europe, does not have stinging hairs. Asia, sometimes has stinging hairs or is sometimes hairless. North America, has stinging hairs. Europe and much of Asia, usually found in the countryside.
It is less widespread in southern Europe and north Africa, where it is restricted by its need for moist soil, but is still common. In Europe, nettles have a strong association with human habitation and buildings. The presence of nettles may indicate the site of a long-abandoned building. Stinging nettle is particularly found as an understory plant in wetter environments, but it is also found in meadows.
Although nutritious, it is not widely eaten by either wildlife or livestock, presumably because of the sting. Because of the combination of chemicals involved, though, other remedies may be required. The Boy and the Nettle”. Grasp it as a lad of mettle and soft as silk remains”. The same idiom exists in the Serbian language неће гром у коприве.