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Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Urticales
Family: Urticaceae
Genus: Urtica
see text

Nettles are members of the genus Urtica in the family Urticaceae.

The most prominent member of the genus is the Stinging nettle Urtica dioica, native to Europe, Asia, and North America. The genus also contains a number of other species with similar properties, listed below. However, a large number of species names that will be encountered in this genus in the older literature are now recognised as synonyms of U. dioica. Some of their names survive as subspecies names.

All the species listed below share the property of having stinging hairs, and can be expected to have very similar medicinal uses to the stinging nettle.

Urticaceae also contains other interesting and useful plants, such as Ramie (Boehmeria nivea), Mamaki (Picturus albidus), and Ajlai (Debregeasia saeneb). The Wood nettle, Laportea canadensis, found in eastern North America from Nova Scotia to Florida, comes from the same family; so does the False nettle, Boehmeria cylindrica, found in most of the United States east of the Rockies, but as its name implies, it does not sting.

There are many unrelated organisms called nettle, such as:

Species in the genus Urtica, and their primary natural ranges, include:

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