Texas bull nettle is usually 1 1/23 feet high with several stems from the same taproot system that enables the plant to thrive even in the hottest part of the summer. Leaves are alternate, 24 inches long, divided into 5 leaflets, crinkled in appearance and covered with stinging hairs. If one brushes against the leaves, one will feel the sting for 3045 minutes. If any part of the stem is broken, a milky sap appears, and some people are allergic to this as well as the sting of the hairs. The flower consists of 57 white, petal-like sepals, united below; there are no petals. There are 10 or more stamens and a 3-lobed pistil. The fruit, or seeds, are clustered in 4 separate compartments held tightly together by the tough, almost round seedpod. It, too, is covered with stinging hairs. When the seeds mature, the outside fleshy part shrinks and exposes the durable shell that holds the 4 seed compartments.
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