Dendrocnide Miq.

First published in Pl. Jungh.: 29 (1851)
This genus is accepted
The native range of this genus is Tropical & Subtropical Asia to Pacific.


Timothy M. A. Utteridge and Laura V. S. Jennings (2022). Trees of New Guinea. Kew Publishing. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

A genus of at least 36 species found from China through Asia and South-East Asia to Australia and the Pacific; at least 12 species in New Guinea, all of which can be arborescent.
Morphology General Cystoliths
Cystoliths punctiform
Morphology Leaves Stipules
Stipules deciduous, intrapetiolar, completely connate, leathery, often large, apex entire
Morphology Leaves
Leaves alternate, spiral often with terminal rosettes of leaves, blade leathery, rarely papery, pinnately veined, rarely 3–5-veined at the base, veins often robust and conspicuous, margins entire, undulate, or crenulate
Morphology General Habit
Plants dioecious Trees to c. 18 m or shrubs, branches sympodial-Stinging hairs present
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Inflorescences solitary in each axil, pedunculate, generally forming cymose panicles or racemes, unisexual; glomerules of pistillate flowers often with thickened, fleshy flabellate receptacle; bracts present
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers
Staminate flowers 4- or 5-merous; rudimentary ovary conspicuous
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Gynoecium Pistil
Pistillate flowers: perianth lobes 4, connate at base, subequal, lateral lobes slightly larger; staminodes absent; ovary ovoid, erect; stigma filiform or ligulate, papillate on 1 side, often eccentrically inserted
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Achene slightly oblique, often compressed, often large, verrucose, persistent stigma usually reflexed; pedicels simple or swollen, cylindric, not winged.
The genus favours lowland primary forest, especially slightly moist and somewhat shady habitats, with some taxa found on limestone. In addition, many New Guinea species are tolerant of secondary forest and abandoned gardens, from sea level to 2300 m.
The genus can be recognised by the stinging hairs which are almost always present and can be quite aggressive but are often inconspicuous, the alternate often leathery leaves with prominent lateral veins, the compressed-asymmetric achenes with eccentric style and a filiform stigma and the peduncles in fruit often swollen and/or bright purple. Note that the leaves are never deeply toothed and will, at most, be crenate, and are often leathery with robust veins.


  • Herbarium Catalogue Specimens

  • Kew Backbone Distributions

    • The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Vascular Plants 2024. Published on the Internet at and
    • © Copyright 2023 World Checklist of Vascular Plants.
  • Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone

    • The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Vascular Plants 2024. Published on the Internet at and
    • © Copyright 2023 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Vascular Plants.
  • Trees of New Guinea

    • Trees of New Guinea