Girardinia bullosa is an erect, annual or short-lived perennial plant; the stems are generally unbranched or little branched near the top;; they are densely adorned with stinging hairs up to 8mm long; are somewhat lignified and usually hollow. The plant can grow 2 - 3 metres tall, with the stems up to 35mm in diameter[
The plant is often harvested from the wild for local use of its fibre. It is sometimes cultivated[
The plant is densely covered with stinging hairs. It has the longest stinging hairs in the Urticaceae, but the sting seems less severe than that of some other genera, such as Laportea[
East tropical Africa - southern Sudan, Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya, eastern DR Congo, Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania.
Clearings and natural glades in rain-forest or at forest edges; grassland along roads and near houses; often in abandoned cultivations; forest with[?]sometimes in streamside marshes in wet montane forest, at elevations from 1,800 - 3,100 metres[
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The plant does not resprout after cutting[
After the stems have been harvested in Burundi, the stinging hairs are removed and the entire bark is removed from the stem, after which the inner bark is separated in one piece and dried[
Usually monoecious, the plant is occasionally dioecious, in which case both male and female forms will need to be grown if seed is required[
The bast fibre is made into string, sewing thread and textiles[
In Ethiopia the bark is used for tying animals, making fences and making rope[
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