Urera acuminata Miq.
Urera alceifolia (Poir.) Gaudich.
Urera capitata Wedd
Urera coralline (Liebm.) Wedd.
Urera jacquinii Wedd.
Urera mitis (Vell.) Miq.
Urera subpeltata Miq.
Urtica alceifolia Poir.
Urtica caracasana Jacq.
Urtica corallina Liebm.
Urtica mitis Vell.
Urtica tilliifolia Kunth
Urtica ulmifolia Kunth
Urtica verrucosa Liebm.
Urera caracasana is a coarse shrub or small tree, sometimes growing up to 10 metres tall. The round bole is straight or moderately so, up to 25cm in diameter, and can be unbranched for 3 metres. The plant has thick, pale
branches and is provided throughout with short, straight, slender, more or less stinging hairs[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine and source of fibre. It is cultivated as a hedge in many areas within its native range and in Maya home gardens of eastern Yucatán it is grown for medicinal purposes[
The plant is furnished with stinging hairs, especially the stiff hairs of the inflorescence, but the pain produced is ephemeral and not nearly so severe as that of the related Urera baccifera[
S. America - Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, the Guyanas; C. America - Panama to Mexico; Caribbean.
Common in moist or wet thickets or often in dense mixed forest, often abundant in secondary growth, it is also much planted for hedges; found at elevations from 900 - 2,900 metres[
|Other Uses Rating
Found in the wild in sandy soils or light, medium loams[
Usually a dioecious species, though sometimes monoecious. In general, both male and female forms need to be grown if fruit and seed are required[
The root is believed to be antihaemorrhagic, and a leaf infusion is used as a treatment for erysipelas[
The leaves are used in the treatment of muscle pain. A leaf is held by its petiole and the nettles are brushed against the skin[
]. The crushed leaves are rubbed on the skin as a febrifuge[
The female flowering branches are rubbed on parts of the body where there is muscular pain (this variety has no stinging hairs on the stem or leaves, but does in the inflorescence)[
A tea made from the bark is used as a remedy for pulmonary diseases[
The plant is used widely for medicinal purposes. The roots are boiled with honey and the liquid is used for stomach ache and as a vermicide[
The leaves are also boiled and crushed for their juice, which is mixed with the juice of 9 or 13 oranges. The mixture is then heated and the resulting concoction given to babies with diarrhoea[
The leaves, wrapped in a cloth and tied on the head, are said to be good for headache[
With its stinging hairs to discourage intrusion, the plant is commonly used as a hedge. However, the sting has a much milder effect and so the plant is not nearly so efficient as U. Baccifera at keeping out unwanted guests. The hedges are trimmed when they get too tall, and then send up long straight simple shoots, whose growth soon restores the hedge to its former height[
A strong fibre is obtained from the bark. It is used to make nets, traditional short-hip clothing etc[
The bark should be an excellent source of fibre for making paper[
The wood is creamy yellow with purplish and dark gray patches; odourless and tasteless; straight-grained; medium textured ; very light or fairly light in weight; very difficult to cut smoothly across grain and does not take a smooth finish; perishable[
]. No uses are recorded.
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