Citizen science and global biodiversity
Citizen science and global biodiversity

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

Free course

Citizen science and global biodiversity

2 Further research post-identification of the stinging nettle

One weekend, while walking beside a stream in my local park, I came across a ladybird larva feeding on a quite hairy plant, as shown in the video:

Download this video clip.Video player: Video 1
Skip transcript: Video 1

Transcript: Video 1

End transcript: Video 1
Video 1
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).

On closer inspection I noticed that the plant had serrated leaves, was of medium height (50 cm) and, to my surprise, had a sharp sting. I was keen to find out what it was and, after taking a picture and searching for similar plants on iSpot, I was able to ascertain it was Urtica dioica, commonly known in England as the stinging nettle. I followed this up with a search of other credible external repositories of both local and international significance.

I then followed this up with a search of other credible external repositories of both local and international significance. I was interested to know if there were reports of any interactions of interest with this plant, which is known for its stinging effect on skin. I also wondered if it had any practical uses and whether it was known outside the UK.


Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to University-level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371