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Many species of the Stinging Nettle family have a memorable way of identifying themselves for you. Hairs underneath the leaves function as hypodermic needles to inject formic acid into the skin when you come in contact with them. Three genera of the family have stinging hairs: Urtica, Laportea, and Hesperocnide, the last being a native of California.
Key Words: Usually hairy plants with petalless flowers in string-like clusters from the leaf axils.
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