A spring-germinating annual of well-tilled arable land, especially fields of broad-leaved crops, and also allotments, gardens, farmyards and waste ground. It prefers light, often sandy, soils of high fertility. Generally lowland, but reaching 500 m in E. Allendale (S. Northumb.).
There has been little change in the distribution of U. urens since the 1962 Atlas, where it was mapped as `all records`.
As an archaeophyte U. urens has a Eurosiberian Southern-temperate distribution, but it is widely naturalised so that its distribution is now Circumpolar Southern-temperate.
PLANTATT - Attributes of British and Irish plants. (.zip 1455KB) This dataset was compiled and published in 2004, and last updated in November 2008. Download includes an Excel spreadsheet of the attributes, and a PDF explaining the background and nomenclature. Note that the PDF version is the booklet as published, whereas the Excel spreadsheet incorporates subsequent corrections. A hardcopy can be purchased from the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology.
Atlas text references
1948. Biological Flora of the British Isles. No. 23. Urtica genus L. (pp. 339-343), Urtica dioica L. (pp. 343-351), Urtica urens L. (pp. 351-355). Journal of Ecology. 36:339-355.
1988. Comparative Plant Ecology.
Hultén & Fries (1986) Jalas & Suominen (1976)