Ok, so they are a weed, have a really painful sting and grow like mad but our Common Nettle Urtica dioica, (or Stinging Nettles as better known) are amazing. They provide an important habitat and an essential source of food for lots of our wildlife and can even provide us with a nutritious meal, cup of Nettle tea and believe it or not a cool glass of Nettle Gin!
The common nettle is one of the most important native plants for wildlife in the UK and supports over 40 species of insect. Its seed and colonising aphids also provides an essential source of food for our birds and our ladybirds. A number of butterflies such as the red admiral, comma, peacock and small tortoiseshell also rely on nettles as a food source for their larvae and you can often see them munching away on the nettle stems.