Tread-Softly Nettle - Finger Rot
Spurge Nettle - Bull Nettle - Stinging Nettle
Cnidoscolus stimulosus - (Michaux) Engelmann & A. Gray
Euphorbiaceae (Spurge) Family


Plant is an upright perennial with stinging hairs. Its preferred habitat is rich woods, roadsides and marshy areas. Distribution is throughout the Escambia region.

The leaves are alternate on the stem; consisting of one whole part; three untoothed lobes; stalked.

Flowers are on stalks at the end of the stem. Male and female flowers are on different plants; symmetrical in shape. Calyx is funnel shaped; five lobes; petals absent. Flowers occur throughout spring and summer.

Fruit is a capsule.

A slight touch of a leaf or stem may cause severe dermatitis or an irritating itch that persists for some time. Best not to handle the plant. The hairs on this plant contain a caustic irritant which on contact produces a painful irritation and rash and can cause a severe reaction in some people. The three large, edible seeds are very tasty when ripe and were much used by various Indian tribes. Other common names are as stated above and mala mujer (Spanish for "bad woman").

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