Palila Forest Discovery Trail

Hesperocnide sandwicensis

Hawaiian Stinging Nettle

Hesperocnide sandwicensis,


This Hesperocnide nettle is an unusual element to this forest. While most of Hawai‘i’s nettle-relatives (Urticaceae) have lost their stinging nettles (like the māmaki used in tea), this high-elevation species still maintains it’s stinging heritage. No Hawaiian name is known for this species, but it is no doubt that Hawaiians passing through this area brushed up against it and noticed.   

This plant does not grow year round, but rather grows annually during after the winter rains during the warm months of Spring. Then after a few months, the plant dies back with no trace it was every here.