Difference between revisions of "Urticaceae"

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===Nettle Family===
 
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! [[Image:Myriocarpa_longipes_4.jpg|thumb|center|300px|''Myriocarpa longipipes'' is an understory shrub with '''dangling thread-like inflorescences''' containing either male or female flowers.  Contact with a male inflorescence releases a cloud of pollen!  Note the alternate leaves with toothed margins.  The leaves have hairs, but do not cause irritation.]]
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! [[Image:Myriocarpa_longipes_3.jpg|thumb|center|300px|''Myriocarpa longipipes'' is an understory shrub with '''dangling thread-like inflorescences''' containing either male or female flowers.  Contact with a male inflorescence releases a cloud of pollen!  Note the alternate leaves with toothed margins.  The leaves have hairs, but do not cause irritation.]]
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[[Category:RainforestPlants]][[Category:Eurosids I]]
 
[[Category:RainforestPlants]][[Category:Eurosids I]]

Latest revision as of 18:41, 23 September 2009

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Nettle Family

Pilea ecboliophylla Donn. Sm., an understory herb in the Urticaceae. Note the crenate, anisophyllous leaves and the minute flowers massed in the leaf axils. Una hierba del sotobosque. Note las hojas crenadas y las flores deminutos en las áxilas.


Description: A good family to be aware of, because many of them can inflict a painful sting! Urticaceae can have either opposite or alternate leaves, but they are always simple and almost always with a crenate margin (i.e., with small rounded teeth). The opposite-leaved genera (e.g. the understory herbs Pilea) are almost always anisophyllous (i.e., one leaf in each pair is noticeably larger than the other). Urticaceae stipules are usually rather large and papery, and borne between the petiole and the stem. The majority of species have abundant needle-shaped hairs on their leaves and stems, some that can inject acids when crushed. Some species are herbaceous, and others are shrubs. One species (Urera eggersii) is occasionally a liana; more often a sprawling shrub.

Economic uses: none in the tropics. Some of the temperate species of Laportea and Urtica are edible when young. In medieval Europe, nettles were often planted around moats as a second line of defense.


Descripción: Una familia que vale la pena reconocer, porque presenta tricomas dolorosamente urticantes. Las Urticaceas tienen hojas alternas u opuestas, pero siempre simples y casi siempre con la margen crenada (es decir, con dientes pequeñas y redondeadas). Los géneros con hojas opuestas (p. ej. Pilea, hierbas del sotobosque) muchas veces son anisófilos; es decir, cada par de hojas presenta una hoja grande y una más pequeña. Las estípulas de las Urticaceas usualmente son grandes y con la textura de papel, y aparecen entre el pecíolo y el tallo. La mayoría de las especies tienen pelos agudos y abundantes, algunos pueden inyectar ácidos cuando se les toca. Algunas especies son herbáceas, otras son arbustos, y una especie en La Selva (Urera eggersii) algunas veces crece como bejuco, pero más frecuentemente como un arbusto.

Usos económicos: En las zonas tropicales, ningunos. Unas especies de Laportea y Urtica tienen hojas jóvenes comestibles. En Europa en la época medieval, frecuentemente se sembraban ortigas afuera de los fosos de los castillos como una segunda línea defensiva.


Genera/species at La Selva: 6/20: Herbs (sometimes scandent)/ hierbas, a veces escandentes: Laportea (1), Pilea (9) Shrubs/ arbustos: Boehmeria (2), Myriocarpa (1), Phenax (1), Urera (6)


Myriocarpa longipipes is an understory shrub with dangling thread-like inflorescences containing either male or female flowers. Contact with a male inflorescence releases a cloud of pollen! Note the alternate leaves with toothed margins. The leaves have hairs, but do not cause irritation.
Myriocarpa longipipes is an understory shrub with dangling thread-like inflorescences containing either male or female flowers. Contact with a male inflorescence releases a cloud of pollen! Note the alternate leaves with toothed margins. The leaves have hairs, but do not cause irritation.


< < Previous family: Ulmaceae
Next family: Verbenaceae > >
How to Examine a PlantPlant Family ListKey to Plant FamiliesTop Ten ListsThe MatrixNavigation Bar.jpg