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Ongaonga (Urtica ferox)

Last Modified: 28-2-2021 18:48

Ongaonga (Urtica ferox)
Ongaonga (Urtica ferox)
© Christopher Cookson  License this image

Ongaonga (Urtica ferox) is the largest of New Zealand's five native nettle species, capable of inflicting painful stings via venom filled spiny hairs. Ongaonga can grow up to several metres tall, and is one of New Zealand's most toxic plants, with reportsĀ of killing animals such as dogs and horses, or inflicting painful stings on humans which can last for days. At least one case of human fatality has been reported. Although toxic to mammals, ongaonga is an important host plant for some butterfly larvae and other insects.

Ongaonga is found throughout New Zealand, typically found in coastal areas around the margins of forests, where it can grow into dense thickets.

This example was observed at Rarangi.

Location: Latitude: -41.391689 Longitude: 174.048553

Image Date: 1/1/1970

Photographer: Christopher Cookson

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