Stinging Nettle, Urtica dioica, native caterpillar foodplant, 3 plants in 7 cm square pots
Stinging nettle (Urtica dioica). Why, one might ask, should anyone want to buy stinging nettles? The simple answer is that as the food plant of the caterpillars of several of our most colourful and best loved butterflies, including the Comma, Peacock, Red Admiral and Small Tortoiseshell, they are an essential component of any wildlife garden. Though a common plant, most gardens do not have any stinging nettles growing in them, so although these butterflies may stop off for a swig of nectar from any flowering plants we may have, they soon carry on their way ins search of a suitable place to lay their eggs.
Special Value to Wildlife
Being unaffected by their sting, nettles are a good choice for caterpillars, as they offer protection from predators and from falling victim to collateral damage from herbivores, both of which are usually keen to avoid the sting.
It's not only butterfly caterpillars that feast on nettles. They are much sort after by several species of moth, including the Mother of Pearl, Burnished Brass, Jersey Tiger, Golden Y and Snout Moth, as well as numerous other invertebrates - over a hundred have been identified on nettles - and of course these in their turn provide food for garden birds and their chicks.
You are purchasing three well rooted nettle plants in 7 cm square pots. They need to be kept well watered, in fairly rich soil. Hiding them away at the bottom of the garden is not a good idea as the butterflies tend to prefer nettles growing in a fairly sunny spot with plenty of new growth for laying their eggs.
Our plants are sold purely for their biodiversity, educational and aesthetic value and no part should be consumed or applied externally unless you are absolutely certain of their safety.
Please note that our nursery is located at Cupar, Fife, our St Andrews address being for correspondence only. Plant Passport Registration Number GB-S 03473.