What do I need to know about nettle?

Last year I spent a day in one of my flower beds. A couple of days later I was covered in a horrible rash. A friend said I have a stand of nettle in my backyard. Can you tell more about nettle? If that is what I got into, I want to be sure to stay away from it in the future.
Submitted by BHGPhotoContest

Run-ins with stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) are often itchy, painful experiences thanks to the tiny razor-sharp hooks on the undersides of the plant's leaves. Simply brushing against the plant will cause an itchy rash. Sensitivity to this weed varies from person to person; it sounds as though you're particularly sensitive to it. Stinging nettle is a common roadside weed that grows 3-4 feet tall and has egg-shape light green leaves. A patch of stinging nettle need not prevent you from gardening in your backyard. You can eradicate it with a few simple steps. Mow large stands. Spray remnants of the plants with an herbicide formulated for nettle and other perennial weeds. Follow application instructions on the product label.


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