Distribution of Nettles in your area

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  • #38579


    Living on the other side of the world where Stinging Nettles, especially urtica dioica are extremely common despite heavy control methods I am very interested to know how far members of Monarch Trust who like breeding Admirals have to travel from home in order to find nettles either to take home to feed their captive larvae or to collect eggs or larvae to take home for the same purpose? I am guessing those who live “off the beaten track” or “out in the sticks” as we Brits like to refer to it, will find it easier than those in a more urban and heavily managed environment. The species of nettle you find near where you live is also of interest to me as well as the type of land it is found in. I know there is some good work going on with areas being replanted to make up for losses over the years. I found a few articles on the web, Forest and Bird was quite interesting with the project to help nettles in the Auckland area. But what about elsewhere in the country?

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  • #38981


    I’m in rural Waikato, and apart from the small patch of nettle (Urtica dioica) around my porch, I don’t know of any within 10 or 15 km. I had a food crisis a few weeks ago, when Admiral larvae completely stripped my patch and we had a drought in the Waikato, so none was available in the places I’ve been to previously. Eventually I found some on a bank behind Hukanui School, where there are springs so the plants didn’t dry out. I go quite a long way to get larvae – over an hour’s drive. There are now plants in Hamilton Gardens because I gave them about 50 potted plants, but I don’t know how well they’re doing now. They were planted in a non-public area.



    Thanks to Anna I have a small (approx .05 x 05 metres) but slowly spreading patch of what I believe to be urtica dioica in my garden – though it’s not in an ideal spot because of space limitations. This season I had been keeping an eye out for Admiral butterflies, also checking the nettle for little caterpillars but without any success. Perhaps understandable as there are a lot of wasps and spiders in the area.

    Then and unknown to myself – a Yellow Admiral laid her eggs there about six weeks ago. I found the little caterpillars only by chance, five have hatched so far and another is getting close to pupating. Last season and when the patch was even smaller, I managed to raise and release around 25 Yellow Admirals.

    I’m in Motueka in the North of the South Island, West across the bay from Nelson city.



    I have U. dioica, U. urens and U. australis in my garden now, but there are no nettles growing wild anywhere around here. There is U. dioica in Cornwall Park (central Auckland) and also at Kelmarna Organic Gardens.

    Jacqui, Blockhouse Bay, Auckland



    Terry, I have a small patch of urtica dioica on my property, approx 3 x 2 metres. I dont allow it to seed, and trim it back regularly. Its in part of the flower garden. The patch is now regularly visited by both Red And Yellow Admirals, which is a real thrill. This is what I use to raise Admiral caterpillars at times.
    We also get the urtica urens popping up in different places, and I have found Admiral caterpillars and eggs there at times as well.
    Some councils dont allow Urtica Dioca as it spreads very easily.
    If I want other nettles, ie: ferox, its about an hour or mores drive away..and often you can find a once flourishing patch, dead after being sprayed.
    I am in the top of the South Island.

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