Do You Know Your Nettles? Take This Quiz to Find Out!

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There are over 20,000 species of plants that have been recorded as edible, yet in our current society you'll be lucky to find more than 25 of them in your local supermarket.

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About the Author

Robin is a forager and self-taught ethnobotanist. He specialises in wild edible plants and has been running foraging courses throughout the UK since 2008. He travels extensively documenting and recording the traditional and local uses of wild food plants in indigenous cultures.

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(65) comments

Martin Spearman

I couldn’t share on nosey book as the links don’t work.

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Nick

This was a brilliant short quiz. A little embarrassed to realise I don’t know as much about nettles as I though I did!!
This is a really good way to teach and refresh your memory of plants.

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    Robin Harford

    Glad you liked it Nick. As you say a great way to test ones knowledge… I’ll be making more in the not too distant future.

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      Corrianne

      I didn’t score full marks, but I’m happy to note that I got all the important questions right, the ones pertaining to gathering and consumption… and the fairy tale, of course

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Hi Robin,

Excellent quiz – thanks!

I got nearly 90% but only because I used to have a nature type blog for a while and I’m rather partial to the not-so-humble nettle. The Seven Swans answer was a complete guess on my part though! Our old Labrador had an issue one March when he walked on the new nettle growth. He hobbled all the way home – poor thing! I don’t know the variety but obviously swimming in the river softened his pads, which didn’t help. Looking forward to further challenges πŸ™‚

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Anita Morgan

I was surprised to see how many answers I got right and which ones I thought I knew that I got wrong.

I drink a Nettles Mineral Tea I make near daily. Plus I make for varility a Mama’s Allergy Tea in the spring too that we drink.

Thank you for your lovely site and emails. I enjoyed taking your quiz!

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Lynn Beswick

Good fun and I learnt things too!

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tony pointer

great ,did,nt know as much as I thought .

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Fran

Some interesting ones I didn’t know. Relieved to know I’m OK on the basics though.

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Keith gilbert

Enjoyed the quiz

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Stephanie Alden

Interesting. I would like to see something similar for other plants

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Vincent

Great quiz. I got 6 out of 10 which I didn’t think was too bad. I think it is a good way to learn by linking learning with fun. Keep up the great work.

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Fiona Ross

Good quiz!Really interesting.

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Mrs Winn

Who knew nettles are a superfood!! Wow I’m going to get picking!! Fun quiz! Thanks

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    jeni

    I did! πŸ˜‰

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Becky Whiteley

Really interesting, I’ve used nettles for years, but some of those things hadn’t even occurred to me! Will have to do some more research.

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Val

Fun quiz, great questions, but if I only got 2 wrong out of 10, how come it’s telling me my score is 77.78%? That’s daylight robbery.

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Nina

Enjoyed the quiz – thanks! Will now have to look up where nettles came from if not the Romans and the story of the Seven Swans! More please!

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Fin

Wonderful synchronicity! I enjoyed my first nettle soup of the season this evening for my supper. Now I have learned that the shaded nettles are a better flavour I know where to pick them next time.
Fun and Informative quiz, I have learned more facts.

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Sue

Only got 55 percent! Should have known they are best gathered in the shade.
I made nettle soup once but it was pretty horrible – probably need a better recipe!
What I like about nettles is the pretty yellow roots!

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Morag

Wow, learned loads thanks

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Jenny

I scored 66.67%. I have to admit to guessing some of the answers though. I love the idea of a quiz and hope you send some more.
Regards,
Jenny

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ian

Good fun, and maybe I got lucky with some questions. Thinking of growing a big pot of nettles this year. They want to grow in my garden!

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anne

I new more than I thought I did

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Damn! Almost got them all. Didn’t know which fairytale it was! Thanks for the reminder though Robin, need some nettle beer in my life. Happy rummaging and ruminating.

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Joanna

Had my first dish of delicious braised nettles last week which were accidentally collected in the shade so maybe I know more unconsciously then I am aware!! Good quiz, keep them coming.

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Sue Pritchard

Weird percentages! 10 questions should make the maths easy even for a computer!!!
I’d like to know why shady nettles are tastier as I assumed full sunlight would be

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Clare Wheatley

Wow. I found I knew more than I thought I did. This quiz was great. I want more.

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Carole Bailey

Enjoyed doing this! I thought they could only be eaten in spring when young and tender. By summer, are the leaves not tough?

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    Richard Stansfield

    Hi, its only old leaves that contain high levels of silica. So any new shoots are far game and there is always a second flush of growth in the Autumn πŸ™‚

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ALAN

Think I got about 70% right but you don’t give the score..

Good little quiz though.

Thanks

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JacQuie

so bad about 50% But I will try some from my garden. Been out today in the Berkshire Sunshine and the Ground Elder although only 2inches high among the grasses and for-get-me -nots are tiny, not tender, but tough!

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Fiona

A great quiz, I don’t know how I even knew some of the answers but it’s amazing how many little facts you pick up along the way. Thanks

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Suzanne Coleman

Lots of fun and educational too. I learned a little more each time I did it until I got 100%. Thank you.

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Bunny

Oh, dear! How embarrassing!
I guess that I need to relearn my stingies!
Fear not, I shall try not to let you down in the future.

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Richard Stansfield

Damn it, 2 wrong lol. Great stuff Robin and yes I agree, it was a little bit of fun πŸ˜‰ all the best

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Shobhna Dave

Oh dear oh dear oh dear….. I thought I might have known better then the answers I gave. I clearly need to get back to my love of plants a bit more. πŸ™‚

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Rosie Bond

An interesting quiz … but who did introduce nettles to the UK if it wasn’t the Romans, riddled with arthritis & shivering up there on Hadrian’s Wall? Answers please, or do we have to forage for those too?!

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Marta

Good quiz. Helps widen the knowledge and remember. More please!

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Maire

Well, that was a fun exercise as I awaited my first cup of tea to wake up the brain cells …. 7/10 not too bad. Always room for improvement πŸ™‚

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Catherine

Hi Robin
That was fun.
I recently gathered and made a tea for first time this year. I also found some ransoms.
A useful tip on gathering nettles in the shade. Why is that?
I love your website. It has been an inspiration for me. Through you I have met Stephen Buhner, Frank Cook and Nathaniel Hughes.
Thank you

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Jim

Great quiz. Wow that much calcium!

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Leah

Brilliant quiz although I only got 3 right!

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Ra

Got all 10 correct….seems I know more than I thought, about nettles at least! Must be down to my granny who showed me how to make nettle beer & soup many moons ago. They are still not welcome in my garden, but all is not lost as there are many stands on my land, for myself or wildlife to enjoy.

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Great to see you all getting stuck in, and having a bit of fun with this quiz. Thanks for all your feedback.

The reason the percentages where out was a tech issue… now resolved, assuming my thumbs didn’t hit some invisible button!

Nettles are best gathered in shade because sunlight increases the stronger flavours, usually bitterness, so always best to gather plants if they seem too strong for you in shade.

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Daniel

Good bit of fun. Would have been good for my score to have been shown.

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Fiona

…Excellent quiz but one question could be added. Which plant makes the best ever cordial? NETTLE!

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ken

very interesting. they can also be used for conjunctivitis.boil nettles leaves leave to cool dilute and bathe eyes.tried and tested.

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Greg Jones

9/10. My father taught me well. Keep up the good work Robin.

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I knew before I took the quiz that I did not know as much as I should about this wonderful weed/plant. But 60% was better than I thought. Thanks for the brain teaser it was fun, and I also learned, win/win.

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Hi Robert, took your nettle quiz and was amazed
That you say nettles can only be eaten in Soring. I cultivate them and eat them all year, but of course before they go to seed. Think it’s a pity to put people off eating them later than Spring, or indeed. In
A mild winter I have them in my tunnel in January. Regards oonagh

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Oonagh

Whoops sorry think I got confused with your answer and mine.

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Gillian ASHBEE

Can’t remember what all my answers were so have no clue about my score, which I’d have liked, not important. The quiz was interesting & therefore informative – many thanks.

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Great quiz and I did well (guessing Seven Swans as I’ve never heard of it and I know the other three don’t mention nettles!)

The calcium question is debatable as a) the individual plant is only as good as the soil in which it is grown but nettles are wild so can’t be over farmed; and b) in the 70s, The Vegetarian Society taught us that even red peppers contain more calcium than cheese (low down the scale as the milk is pasteurised, before we get into the other nasties).

Also, I put famine food because I know people from Ireland have told me they used to eat nettles raw when they couldn’t get cabbage. Wild food being much more nutrient dense than hybridised, it could be called a superfood (an overused and misused word I try to avoid.)

Freshly picked nettle seeds or dried are wonderful snacks or added to make raw bread.

Against my better judgement, I put the Incas but it was those Egyptians yet again!

Thanks for the food for thought! (That used to be the name of a vegetarian restaurant founded in 1974 in Covent Garden, which sadly closed very recently).

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Roz

This was a delight. I scored 50% which is much more than I thought I would. Quzzes like this will help me learn much more about wild food. Thank you.

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Petrina Tatnall

I got 5 out of 10, which was better than what I thought I would get

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50%…not bad considering I’ve been awake a long time. ?and my knowledge wouldn’t cause me harm… ?

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Thanks for the quiz .. Apparently I scored 80%, but think I only got 7 correct. Also learnt that the young nettles in the shade will taste better, which is great as I work in schools where I have made nettle tea during Forest School sessions. The Mint tea and Lemon Balm tea goes down a lot better with the children with some honey or agave nectar to sweeten, but perhaps we have collected nettles mainly from sunny areas of the wildlife garden in the past. Also have told them that the Romans introduced nettles, because I had read that the Romans planted them along the roadsides to rub on their skin, to warm themselves up in our chilly old country. However, I now see this was wrong! Did we have them here already? I also read that we only had crab apples till they introduced other varieties .. also cherries, grapes etc .. Do you know if this is true?

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annie

This quiz was great – I only scored 20% – don’t know much at all… very interesting snipps of info – like best gathered in the shade. Also I was told (a few years ago on a small local forage in South Bucks) that you should only pluck off the first 2 sets of leaves and leave the rest and that you can’t consume nettles once flowered. Is this true? Many thanks Robin and look forward to many more quizzes. Annie

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PAT

I didn’t do too had and I remembered you saying that it was good for benign prostate disease as well.

Just a thought, last year when I was wandering I came across what I thought was a Laurel tree with berries on it. I thought I would give them a try. They were very sweet and I spat out the pits
When I got home I looked them up and most places said they were poisonous except for one comment that said they ate them all the time. I have had no ill effects and was wondering what your thoughts were on it

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ha ha made me smile Robin, always more to learn. Love Eatweeds, especially the podcasts, thank you :o)

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An entertaining quiz. Great way to pass time!

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Julie

I got 80%, happy that I actually know more than I thought I did. Got the fairy tale and tooth pick questions wrong, which I’m not fussed about.

Fun quiz though, tests your knowledge. I look forward to more of the same πŸ™‚

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Helene Green

Hi Robin

I was puzzled as to why someone would score only 90% when they get all 10 questions right?

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Lisa

I love using nettles. I was out seaweed foraging at a Cove where we live. On the way back, I gathered nettles, cleavers, and wild violets to make a tea. Last year, we dried loads of nettle seeds to use.

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