Common Names please?

Anne Kilmer viceroy at
Mon Oct 5 07:40:37 EDT 1998

Alex wrote:
> Actually, Nettle (Urtica dioica) is quite edible, though not tasty (tastes
> like Spinach) though I have heard that some butterflies eat them...

Very tasty indeed, as cooked at Ashford Castle in Ireland, for instance.
Add enough cream and butter ...
Young green shoots, delicately steamed, then added to your basic cream
soup base ... hold the caterpillars. Although, if a few get in, they
just add a bit of protein. (Did I ever tell you about my Surinam cherry
pie? Maggots float. Thank God for whipped cream. :) )

Nettles also make a fine yellow-green dye, the stems, retted as you
would flax, make a wonderful spinnable fiber, and they are one of the
best green manures.
	Nettles, with lavender and rosemary, make good bath herbs (in a
cheesecloth bag like a bouquet garni, with very hot water poured over
	A nettle tea brewed from mature plants is used to spray on garden
plants to kill or repel "pests", and nettles are a splendid companion
plant to fruit trees. 
	I bet they keep the small boys out of the fruit, too.
	I have never, in Normandy or Ireland, picked raspberries without being
nettle-stung. Part of the experience. It's said to be as good for
arthritis as a bee sting or a good dose of ant stings. 
	You know that old rhyme indicating that grasping a nettle firmly keeps
it from stinging you? Lies, filthy lies.
	However, any friend of the Red Admiral  (Vanessa atlanta) is a friend
of mine. 
Anne Kilmer
South Florida
> In the British Isles Urtica has been used as food, and as a source for fiber
> in the making of tablecloths, and bed linen.
> Yes. It hurt. I am altogether too familiar with Urtica dioica.
> Alex Netherton
> Asheville NC
> danetherton at
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Rob Hilton <robert at>
> To: danetherton at <danetherton at>; Leps-L
> <leps-l at>
> Date: Monday, October 05, 1998 8:05 AM
> Subject: Re: Common Names please?
> >At 01:05 AM 10/3/98 -0400, Alex wrote:
> >>Dear friends;
> >>I am as much a fan of dear Carolus Linnaeus (though I may have spelled his
> >>name wrong), but being a Botanist by training, I am unable to identify
> many
> >>of these species by the binomial. (I picked up on Urtica dioica just fine,
> >>thanks. Common Nettle for those interested.)  [snip]
> >
> >Alex,
> >
> >Did it hurt??
> >
> >Rob
> >
> >Rob Hilton
> >robert at
> >Bethesda, Md.
> >
> >"We lived on nettles, while nettles were good"
> >--Four Loom Weaver, english traditional song
> >
> >
> >

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