Seeds of South Australia
Urtica incisa (Urticaceae)
Native Nettle
List of species for Urtica
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Seed collecting:
January to December
Herbarium regions:
Murray, Southern Lofty, Kangaroo Island, South Eastern
NRM regions:
Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, Kangaroo Island, South Australian Murray-Darling Basin, South East
IBRA regions
Mount Gambier (SVP02)Southern Volcanic Plain
 Least Concern
Bridgewater (NCP01)Naracoorte Coastal Plain
 Least Concern
Glenelg Plain (NCP02) 
 Least Concern   [undercollected]
Lucindale (NCP03) 
 Near Threatened
Kangaroo Island (KAN01)Kanmantoo
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))   [grows in seeps]
Mount Lofty Ranges (FLB01)Flinders Lofty Block
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU D2)   [grows in seeps; 1 record]
Murray Mallee (MDD02)Murray Darling Depression
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU B2ab(i,ii,iii))   (Probable Decline)   [prone to weed competition & drought]
Murray Lakes and Coorong (MDD03) 
 Least Concern
Murray Scroll Belt (RIV06)Riverina
 Vulnerable   (IUCN: VU B2ab(i,ii,iii))   (Probable Decline)   [prone to weed competition & drought]
RSCA map:
Regional Species Conservation Assessments per IBRA subregion. Please click the thumbnail map.
AVH map:
Australian distribution map (external link)
SA Census:
Census of South Australian plants (external link)     [genus Urtica]
Name derivation:
Urtica a Latin name for the nettle, from the Latin 'urere' meaning to burn; alluding to the burning sensation cause by the rigid stinging hairs which contain an irritating fluid. Incisa from the Latin 'incidere' meaning incised or cut in two; referring to the incised leaf.
Found in the southern part of South Australia, growing on margins and in clearings within wet open-forests, swamps and streams. Also found in all states except the Northern Territory.
Native. Uncommon in South Australia. Rare in Western Australia. Common in the other states.
Plant description:
Monoecious perennial herb to 100 cm high, leaves and stems (except for very young tips) glabrous or nearly so between the scattered stinging hairs. Leaves lanceolate, narrowly ovate or triangular (sometimes broadly ovate), base truncate to cordate, margins broadly toothed to incised, finely hairy, apex acute to tail-like, leaf blade to 12 cm long and 7 cm wide' leaf stalk usually more than half as long as leaf blade. Flowers usually dioecious and where monoecious the male and female flowers in separate clusters and not mixed, with tiny white flowers. Flowers throughout the year.
Fruit type:
Pale yellow-brown fruit clusters along the spike.
Seed type:
Yellowish brown ovoid seed to 2 mm long and 1.1 mm wide.
Seed collecting:
Collect seeds that are turning pale yellowish brown by running your hand along the fruit spike. Mature seeds should come off easily. Be careful when collecting as the leaves and stems have rigid hairs that will cause a burning sensation.
Seed cleaning:
Place the seeds in a tray and leave to dry for one to two weeks. Then rub the seeds with a rubber bung to dislodge the seeds. Use a sieve to separate any unwanted material. Seeds are light brown and hard. Store the seeds with a desiccant such as dried silica beads or dry rice, in an air tight container in a cool and dry place.
Seed viability:
From one collection, the seed viability was high, at 85%.
Seeds stored:
LocationNo. of seeds
(weight grams)
of plants
Collection number
Collection location
% ViabilityStorage
4150 (1.86 g)
4150 (1.86 g)
Kangaroo Island
Location: BGA — the seeds are stored at the Adelaide Botanic Gardens, MSB — the seeds are stored at the Millennium Seed Bank, Kew, England.
Number of plants: This is the number of plants from which the seeds were collected.
Collection location: The Herbarium of South Australia's region name.
% Viability: Percentage of filled healthy seeds determined by a cut test or x-ray.