This is an exceedingly complex, variable and difficult species to circumscribe. We are following the treatment in The old World species of Boehmeria (Urticaceae, tribus Boehmerieae). A taxonomic revision[
] which subdivides the species into two subspecies (subsp virgata and subsp macrophylla), each of which have a number of vars[
This record deals with the subspecies virgata, which is found from eastern Indonesia, through Australasia to the Pacific[
Boehmeria platyphylla virgata (G.Forst.) Wedd.
Urtica virgata G.Forst.
Boehmeria virgata is a scandent or erect shrub, or a slender tree with a trunk up to 30cm diameter; it can grow from 1 - 8 metres tall. The plant often has drooping branches[
The plant is harvested from the wild, mainly for its useful fibre which is used locally.
Widespread, in a wide range of habitats and presumed often abundant. The plant is classified as 'Least Concern' in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species(2013)[
Southeast Asia - eastern Indonesia, Philippines, through New Guinea and Australia to the Pacific
Very varied: dense or open primary or secondary often wet montane forest and forest edges, clearings,
dry rocky forest, cliffs and rocky riversides; at elevations from 300 - 1,400 metres, sometimes descending almost to sea level[
|Conservation Status||Least Concern
|Other Uses Rating||
Boehmeria virgata has a wide native range from the tropics of Indonesia south to the subtropics of eastern Australia and east into the Pacific.
Species in this genus generally succeed in a warm sandy soil[
] that is very well-drained[
]. This species is found in a wide range of habitats, including wet and dry soils, open positions and deep shade[
A variable species, several sub-species are recognised[
Plants in this species are usually dioecious, though monoecious forms also occur.[
A fibre is obtained from the bark[
]. Of excellent quality, it is used for making sacks, bags, rough clothes, nets, rope etc[
]. The fibre is shiny, white and strong and is used for making nets, sacks and rough clothes[
]. It is possibly useful for textiles[
The wood is moderately hard but is too small for much use, though it makes a good fuel[
Seed - sow in pots and only just cover the seed. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out when at least 20cm tall.
Division. Very easy, larger divisions can be planted straight into their permanent positions whilst smaller clumps are best planted in a nursery until they are growing away well.
Basal cuttings. Harvest new shoots when they are about 10 - 15cm long with plenty of underground stem. Pot them up into individual pots and keep them in light shade until they are rooting well.
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