Urtica parviflora Roxb., Fl. Ind., ed. 1832 3: 581-582 581 1832.;
China (W-Guangxi, NW-Yunnan), SE-Tibet, Bhutan, N-India, Kashmir, Nepal, Sikkim as per Catalogue of Life;
Urtica ardens differs from U. parviflora in stipules rounded (and not cleft) at tip, stems with numerous stinging hairs, leaves wrinkled more clearly visible in dried specimens, comparatively thicker leaves and with more often stinging hairs on upper surface of leaves.
Visiting different areas in Western Himalayas I have often been confused with specimens with connate stipules mostly reported as U. parviflora Roxb (leaving aside U. hyperborea depicted on Flowers of India courtesy …, a species growing in Ladakh and other places above altitudes of 3000 m), with some specimens very sparsely hairy with slender stinging hairs and other very densely hairy with robust stinging hairs. The confusion was confounded by treatment in eFlora of Pakistan and Enumeration of Flowering Plants of Nepal which consider U. parviflora as simple synonym of U. ardens Link.
Perhaps this confusion of mine was solved by treatment in eFlora of China which considers U. parviflora Roxb. and U. ardens link as distinct species and not synonyms, and both occurring in N W. India, Nepal and Sikkim. The two species are easily differentiated as under:
U. ardens: Stipules rounded at tip; leaf blade ovate to lanceolate, surface wrinkled especially when dry; margin sharply doubly serrulate; stem with numerous stinging hairs.
U. parviflora: Stipules slightly cleft or retuse at tip; leaf blade lanceolate or narrowly ovate; nearly smooth especially when dry, margin crenate or inconspicuously double-denticulate or serrulate; stem with few stinging hairs.
With this background my specimen at Flowers of India as U. ardens seems to be perfectly cited along with synonyms
as also on our website (although synonym U. parviflora Roxb. in wrongly placed).
My mail discussing U. parviflora from Manali obviously is U. ardens
Same is true of following uploaded by … from Chakrata which is U. ardens
Same is case with U. parviflora uploaded by … from Joshimath. It is also U. ardens.
The question is what about real U. parviflora Roxb., it seems not presently represented in our database but after scrutiny of my photographs I could dig out the following as representing U. parviflora. Slightly parted stipules, sparsely hairy softer hairs and narrow leaves are easily seen.
Your valued comments please
Urtica ardens/ABDEC10 : (mixed thread): 4 posts by 3 authors.
its a fungus called rust. affects stems. here its done the stem of the leaf in…usually seen on u dioica…see this figure
Fig 5. Rust of stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) caused by Puccinia caricina.
its about 70% down the page but dont see why it cant infect u ardens.
secondly be very careful of the stings. all nettles nettle. so beware. wear gloves and use tweezers and forceps if you have to touch them
as in removing them from your yard etc.
Urtica (Urticaceae) page with images of species in efloraofindia : 3 posts by 2 authors.
Kindly find attached photographs of stipules of U. parviflora with cleft.
Looking at the size and colour of stipules, plus as mentioned by Anil ji, presence of lot of stinging hairs, I think this should be U. ardens (U. parviflora stipules 4-6 mm long, U. ardens 7-14 mm long. The splitting could be due to age. Please check other stipules especially upper on the plant.
The key may be checked:
Leaf blade ovate to lanceolate, surface wrinkled when dried, margin sharply doubly serrulate; stem densely pubescent with many stinging hairs. 13 U. ardens
+ Leaf blade lanceolate or rarely narrowly ovate, surface nearly smooth when dried, margin crenate or inconspicuously double-denticulate to serrulate; stems sparsely pubescent with a few stinging hairs at least when old. 14 U. parviflora
Only three species of Urtica, i.e. U. dioica, U. parviflora and U. hyperborea (alpine region), have been reported from H.P. None of the published FLORAS (Flora of Himachal Pradesh by Chowdhery and Wadhwa, Flora of Chamba District by Singh and Sharma, Flora Simlensis by Collett, Flora of Great Himalayan National Park by Singh and Rawat,
Flora of Kullu District by Dhaliwal and Sharma, Flora of Sirmaur by Kaur and Sharma, Flora of Bashahar Himalaya by Nair) mention the occurrence of U. ardens in H.P. The species in the attached photographs is most common in this region.
The attached key from eFlora of China by Dr. Singh Sir has different description of the plants than given in local Floras. For example, plant height according to eFlora of China is just 50 cm in U. parviflora. However, local floras put it at 150 cm. Stipule size has been mentioned as 1-2cm in three of the local floras while the others are silent. However, eFlora of China mentions the stipule size 4-6 mm.
Now, my confusion is, which literature to follow. If I follow local floras, it should be U. parviflora only. If follow the advice of Singh Sir, then question arises, why these authors missed such a very common plant. This is most common species in H.P. U. dioica is very rare and it took me more than 5 years to locate it.
…, my plant is the same plant which has been identified as U. parviflora (https://groups.google.com/g/indiantreepix/c/RI3gIPTLJ3A) by Singh Sir and not the one posted by Singh Sir as U. ardens.
I’ll collect more data and will report back soon.
The reason being that in most Floras U. ardens has been treated as synonym of U. parviflora. The size, colour of stipules (plus stinging hairs distribution as you mentioned) perhaps are too obvious in your specimen, the only worry split at top, if it is not in other (especially upper stipules) in most specimens, there should be no problem in taking it as U. ardens.
Sir, I have observed this split in most of the specimens here in Shimla including stipules at the top. However, this notch is narrow in the terminal ones.
One more thing, Sir
SK 2967 15 September 2021: 3 very high res. images.
Location: Surkhet, West Nepal
Altitude: 1000 m.
Date: 05 September 2021
Habit : Wild
Urtica parviflora as per stipules.