Stinging Nettles

rambling ratz

You can’t have summer without stinging nettles. Who hasn’t fallen, or been pushed, face first into a nettle patch at least once in their lives. Poor little Rambling Ratz was quite dwarfed by these mighty hedges of nettles at Credenhill Wood.photo of stinging nettles

But, I hear you cry, what is the point of them? Well they come under the same category as wasps – annoying, painful, yet necessary. The sting comes from the hairs on the stems and leaves. These detach from the plant as you brush past – or plummet face down into them – releasing a cocktail of chemicals including histamine and formic acid amongst others too difficult to spell. The result is that the affected area takes on the look and feel of lumpy porridge and an itch that causes the victim to run about shrieking « find me a dock leaf, NOW! » Incidentally, any relief brought about by rubbing…

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