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Genus Parietaria Family Urticaceae

Description: Monoecious or polygamous annual or perennial herbs, pubescent, stinging hairs absent.

Leaves alternate, thin, entire, ± 3-veined from base; petiolate; stipules absent.

Flowers mostly bisexual with some male and female, clustered or cymose in axils of upper leaves, the lateral flowers with an involucre of leafy bracts. Perianth 3- or 4-toothed, green. Stamens 3 or 4.

Achene enclosed in persistent perianth subtended by leafy bracts.


Distribution and occurrence: World: c. 20 species, tropical & temperate regions. Australia: 3 species (2 species native), all States.

Text by G. J. Harden
Taxon concept:

 Key to the species 
1Annual with tender stems; bracts free at base, equal to or exceeding the perianth in fruit; style absent, stigmatic hairs seated directly on ovary2
Perennial with firm more or less wiry stems; bracts often fused at base, shorter than perianth in fruit; stigma on a long styleParietaria judaica
2Bracts lanceolate to broad-elliptic, with simple or more or less branched midveinParietaria debilis
Bracts cordate, with a conspicuous radial reticulate venation
                       Back to 1
Parietaria cardiostegia

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