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Project Name Data (Last Modified On 1/22/2013)
 

Flora Data (Last Modified On 1/22/2013)
Family URTICACEAE
Contributor ELLSWORTH P. KILLIP
Description Monoecious or dioecious herbs, shrubs, or trees, sometimes armed with stinging hairs and spines, usually bearing cystoliths; leaves simple, alternate or opposite (those of adjacent nodes or of a pair often unequal and dissimilar), entire, toothed, or rarely lobed, stipulate; flowers unisexual, small, greenish or greenish white, in unisexual or androgynous clusters, the perianth 2-5-lobed or parted or sometimes wanting; stamens as many as the perianth lobes and opposite them; ovary superior, 1-celled; style undivided, the stigma penicillate-capitate or filiform; fruit an achene, sometimes enclosed in the persistent perianth.
Habit herbs, shrubs, or trees
Distribution About 40 genera of the tropics and temperate zones of both hemispheres
Note including the stinging nettles, picas and ortigas. Here also may be included the Asian hemp and hashish plant, Cannabis sativa L., known as marijuana in Latin America, an erect herb with watery sap and digitately 5- to 9-divided leaves and inconspicuous dioecious flowers. Despite some attempts of the authorities, mari- juana is grown more or less openly and used as a constituent of narcotic cigarettes.
Key a. Leaves opposite, those of a pair often unequal. b. Stigma short-penicillate; inflorescence paniculate, cymose, or capitu- liform .................................................... 1. PILEA bb. Stigma filiform; flowers in sessile clusters in the leaf axils or in spikes. 2. BOEHMERIA aa. Leaves alternate. b. Pistillate flowers with a perianth. c. Stigma sessile; plants usually armed with stinging hairs. d. Annual herbs; stigma becoming hooked in fruit .......... 3. FLEURYA dd. Trees, shrubs, or suffrutescent herbs; stigma penicillate .......... 4. URERA cc. Stigma filiform; plants without stinging hairs. d. Pistillate perianth nerveless; leaves toothed, those of the adjacent nodes often very unequal ................. ................................................ 2. BOEHMERIA dd. Pistillate perianth strongly nerved; leaves entire (in Panama species), those of the adjacent nodes subequal ..5. POUZOLZIA bb. Pistillate flowers without a perianth. c. Flowers in axillary glomerules. 6. PHENAX cc. Flowers in long, slender spikes. 7. MYRIOCARPA
 
 
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