Other names: Bull nettle, ball nettle
Life cycle: Perennial
Found in: Throughout the eastern, southeastern and north central U.S.
General description: Prickly plant with star-shaped flowers that can grow up to 3 feet high.
Seedlings: Cotyledons are oblong, with hairs on the margins, and are glossy green on top and light green below. Hypocotyl is purple-tinged and hairy.
True leaves: Elliptic to oval, alternate and 2" to 4" long. Both sides are covered with star-shaped hairs, and when crushed the leaves smell like potatoes.
Flowers and fruit: Flowers are white to violet with a yellow cone center, star-shaped and bloom in clusters on prickly stalks. Fruit is a small berry that starts out green and turns yellow and wrinkly as it matures.
Special note: Can be poisonous to livestock, but is rarely ingested due to its prickly stem and leaves.