Hemp Nettle

Okay, are they cute or what?

For years I’ve pulled hemp nettle “aliens” out of my garden — given a chance they run rampant. It grows quickly and will overtake everything around it. If there’s soil, hemp nettle will set up shop. If you’re a farmer it’s particularly bad as it competes with crops for moisture and soil nutrients.

Despite the term “nettle” I’ve never had a problem pulling them out sans gloves, although some sources say the tiny stem hairs can pierce the skin.

Classed as a noxious weed, it hitchhiked to Canada from Europe and Asia and was enjoying life in its new country by the 1880s.

Hemp nettle belongs to the mint family — square stems, tiny flowers, paired leaves. And volatile oils. No surprise that its relatives include basil, rosemary, thyme, sage, oregano and lavender.

I’d give hemp nettle a pass, though.


Hemp nettle   Galeopsis tetrahit

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