Laportea canadensis – Wood Nettle

Page Created by Connecticut Foraging Club
Upcoming Events | Meet the Instructors | Plant Archive | Mushroom Archive

Wood nettle (Laportea canadensis) is a native perennial that is in the same family as stinging nettle (Urtica dioica).
Wood nettles can be found in rich, moist soil with full to partial shade. They can grow in abundance in river flood plains. They are often found in groups as they spread by rhizomes.
Wood nettles have heart-shaped, alternate leaves that are concentrated near the top of the stems. The leaves have serrated margins and a pointed tip.
The stems have many stinging hairs, more so than stinging nettles. The plant produces tiny green flowers in the summer.
Wood nettles are best collected with gloves, similar to how one would collect stinging nettles.
Wood nettles have a milder flavor than stinging nettles. They taste somewhat like spinach, but with a floral note.
Shoots can be harvested in mid-spring when the leaves are scarcely unfurled. Shoots should be blanched or steamed to remove the sting.
Tender leaves can be cooked and used in place of spinach. Wood nettle leaves can be used to make pesto, soup, or added to a frittata.
Mature leaves can be dried and used for tea. Wood nettle has similar medicinal properties to stinging nettle. It can be used to treat seasonal allergies and asthma.
In the fall, seeds can be collected and cooked like flax seeds.

Written by Amy Demers, founder of the Connecticut Foraging Club. To learn more about foraging in Connecticut, check out our upcoming classes.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *